MADRID, Nov. 7 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Iranian authorities have highlighted this Thursday that, once they have completed their work at the Fordow plant, the level of uranium enrichment will reach what the country had before the signing of the 2015 nuclear agreement.
“15 new machines were installed after the third step (in Tehran's withdrawal from part of its commitments to the pact), which increased our total nuclear production capacity to 2,600 units of separative work (SWU),” said the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (OEAI), Behruz Kamalvandi.
“Today, the works in Fordow have been completed and four more cascades will be added to increase our total capacity by another 700 SWU. When the work is fully completed, our total (enrichment) capacity will be about 9,500 SWU, which is the level we had before signing the nuclear agreement, “he said.
Thus, he acknowledged that the enrichment capacity prior to the agreement “was one thousand SWU more”, although he stressed that “the difference is that there are now many advanced machines available” to the authorities.
“The further we go, the more we can get from these machines. The knowledge we receive will also help us increase the quality and functionality of the machines,” Kamalvandi said, according to the Iranian television network Press TV.
The OEAI confirmed on Thursday morning (Wednesday night in peninsular Spain) the restart of its uranium enrichment work at the Fordow plant after injecting gas into the centrifuges.
Thus, he stressed that “all measures have been carried out under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to the Iranian news agency Tasnim.
The IAEA has confirmed during the day that Iran transferred to Fordow uranium hexafluoride and connected it to the centrifuges, without mentioning uranium enrichment, as reported by Reuters news agency.
In this regard, he stressed that he verified on Wednesday that the gas cylinder was connected to two cascades of centrifuges for passivation, “a preparatory activity that takes place before enrichment.”
A more detailed IAEA report and sent to member states of the organization indicates that four other centrifuge cascades installed in Fordow “remain unchanged,” according to Reuters, which has had access to the document.
The 2015 nuclear agreement prohibits the use of nuclear material in Fordow and, with the injection of uranium gas into its centrifuges, the plant has abandoned its status as a research center to become an active nuclear facility.
The Islamic Republic agreed in 2015 to convert Fordow into a “nuclear, physical and technology center” in which 1,044 centrifuges would be used for purposes other than enrichment, such as the stable production of isotopes, which have a wide variety of civil uses.
In 2018, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, decided that his country should abandon the nuclear agreement signed in July 2015 and reactivated the sanctions against Tehran, especially against the oil sector.
After the United States left, the Islamic Republic called on the rest of the signatory countries to focus their efforts on ensuring compliance with the pact in relation to trade relations with Iran and subsequently announced that it would abandon the nuclear commitments envisaged in the pact.
The nuclear agreement established that the level of purity to which Iran could enrich uranium would be a maximum of 3.67 percent, a percentage suitable for the production of energy for civil uses and moving away from the 90 percent needed to manufacture nuclear weapons. Iran denies that it is developing nuclear weapons.
On Monday, the Islamic Republic reported that it has accelerated uranium enrichment by doubling the number of advanced IR-6 centrifuges that it has in operation, in addition to noting that it is working on a prototype called IR-9, which “works 50 times faster than the IR-1 “centrifuges.
The nuclear agreement, which involves the withdrawal of sanctions against Iran, was designed to increase the period of time that the Islamic Republic would need to accumulate enough fissile material to manufacture a nuclear bomb, going from two to three months to about a year by the restrictions to its atomic program.
Iran, which continues to deny that it will manufacture nuclear bombs, has given another two months to the United Kingdom, France and Germany to maintain the agreement. Tehran has said it is open to dialogue if Washington withdraws all sanctions and re-enters the pact.
In this regard, he has insisted at all times that these breaches are contemplated by the 2015 agreement in case some of the parties cease to maintain their commitments and stressed that they are “reversible” in case there is a response to their demands .