Iran Restarts Uranium Enrichment at Fordow
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran has begun enriching uranium at the Fordow facility by feeding the centrifuge machines there with uranium hexafluoride (UF6) in the fourth step of reducing its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal.
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said in a statement that the operation started at 00:00 local time (20:30 GMT) on Thursday, November 7, after the transfer of a 2,800-kilogram cylinder containing 2,000 kilograms of UF6 from Natanz nuclear facility to Fordow - near the city of Qom, where 1,044 centrifuges are installed.
The AEOI’s spokesman said the injection of uranium hexafluoride was being monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
According to Behrouz Kamalvandi, Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, now around 500 kilograms, would increase by some 6 kilograms per day with the resumption of enrichment at Fordow.
President Hassan Rouhani announced on Tuesday that in reaction to the continued failure of the European parties to meet their obligations to the nuclear deal, Tehran on Wednesday would take the 4th step in reducing its commitments under the JCPOA.
In remarks last month, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said Iran will continue to reduce the JCPOA commitments until it gets the desirable results.
“Reduction of the nuclear commitments, which is a responsibility of the Atomic Energy Organization (of Iran), must continue with full seriousness and in a precise and comprehensive manner, as announced by the administration, until it achieves the appropriate result, and it will definitely yield results,” the Leader said.
In May 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA.
Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the JCPOA after the US withdrawal, but the three EU parties to the deal (France, Britain, and Germany) have failed to ensure Iran’s economic interests.
The EU’s inaction forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments to the nuclear deal, including a rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.
Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the JCPOA but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.