Iran assembles several IR6 centrifuges in new hall

August 18, 2019

TEHRAN – Several IR6 centrifuges have been assembled in a newly-built hall and are ready for operation, according to the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi.

"We have built new and modern halls to assemble centrifuges and nearly 20 IR6 centrifuges have been assembled in the hall,” MP Hamidreza Haji Babayee quoted Salehi as saying in a meeting with a number of MPs in Tehran on Sunday.

According to the source, Salehi said the move comes after Iranian officials recently held a meeting on options for the third step of the nuclear undertakings modifications.

Salehi also underlined Iran's capability to return to the pre-nuclear deal conditions, saying, "You will hear good news from Arak (heavy water reactor) in the next few months.”

He added that the Iranian experts have worked on the IR6 and IR7 centrifuges, noting that designing and building IR8 is also on their agenda.

Following sanctions which were imposed last year when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran has rowed back on its nuclear commitments twice in accordance to articles 26 and 36 of the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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

In the second step, Tehran began enriching uranium to purity rates beyond the JCPOA-limit of 3.76 percent.

Iran has said its reciprocal measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from unilateral U.S. sanctions.

Last week, AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi announced that the volume of the country’s enriched uranium stockpile has reached close to 370kg.

Earlier this month, Kamalvandi asserted that his country will take the third step of modifying its commitments under the nuclear deal in a month if European signatories to the deal fail to meet their obligations.

“Iran will take the third step in scaling back its commitments under the JCPOA with world powers in a matter of a month if European signatories to the JCPOA, continue to renege on their obligations,” Kamalvandi told reporters on August 5.

“If the opposite side fails to live up to its commitments in the remaining one month [set as a deadline], the third phase of reducing JCPOA obligations will start as per what the president has previously declared in his capacity as head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council,” Kamalvandi added.

As previously announced, the AEOI official said, “Iran’s next steps will lead to suspension of its commitments. Therefore, those commitments are not totally discarded, but are rather suspended, and if they (the European signatories to the JCPOA) start to honor their commitments, Tehran will also reciprocate and go back to its obligations.”

Kamalvandi went on to say that the reduction of Iran's nuclear commitments would include surpassing a 130-ton limit on heavy water production.

SP/PA

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