Iran ready to scale up nuclear work by installing advanced centrifuges: top MP

August 17, 2019 - 22:39

TEHRAN – The head of the Majlis Nuclear Committee has said Iran is ready to use advanced centrifuges in the third phase of reducing its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“We have many options to choose from in the third phase, such as utilizing advanced centrifuges,” Mehr on Saturday quoted Mohammad Ebrahim Rezaee as saying.

“In fact, we are currently using the old IR1 centrifuges, while the IR6 and IR8 centrifuges are ready to be used,” he stated.

Rezaee said IR6 and IR8 centrifuges respectively have a capacity 26 to 48 times more than the IR1 ones.

Centrifuges are machines that spin uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) at high speeds.  

The legislator said Iran can further activate its production of heavy water, increase its stockpile of heavy water and increase its enrichment level.

The Westerners should know well that Iran scaled back its nuclear program because of its commitment to the JCPOA, and all the actions taken by Iran under the deal are reversible.

On May 8, exactly a year after the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, Tehran announced steps to reduce its nuclear commitments as envisioned under articles 26 and 36 of the multilateral agreement.

As a first step, Iran increased its enriched uranium stockpile to beyond the 300 kilograms set by the JCPOA.

In the second step, Iran began enriching uranium to purity rates beyond the 3.76 percent limit.

Tehran has also warned that it may push forward with a 20% uranium enrichment program and resume previous activities at the Arak heavy-water nuclear facility in its third step.

However, Iran has announced that its reciprocal measures will be reversed as soon as European parties to the deal find practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from unilateral U.S. sanctions which were imposed by the U.S. government after its pullout.

Meanwhile, according to Rezaee, Europe has done nothing to salvage the JCPOA because “they lack the willpower do to so and they do not want to pay the price of confronting the U.S. to save Barjam (JCPOA).”

They have voiced support for the deal but failed to provide meaningful economic incentives as required under the deal, he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the top lawmaker hinted at contradictory remarks by European officials, claimed, “Today, we are certain that Europe has been in coordination with the U.S. from the very beginning and they advanced this joint scenario against Iran.”

Asked about the prospects of INSTEX, a mechanism created by Europe to do business with Iran, Rezaee voiced reservations, saying that Europe plays a complementary role in Washington’s anti-Iran plots.

France, Germany and the United Kingdom set up the Instrument for Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) in January to satisfy Iran’s demands for a way to bypass U.S. sanctions.

The European Union announced on June 28 that INSTEX has gone into effect.

Tehran says the mechanism is far short of its expectation. Iran insists the mechanism should include Iran’s oil purchases.

Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations, has likened INSTEX to a “beautiful car without gasoline”.


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