Iran using advanced IR-2M centrifuges to enrich uranium in violation of nuclear deal

International Atomic Energy Agency reports Iran feeding uranium into third cascade of IR-2M centrifuges at Natanz underground facility.

Gary Willig ,

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported Monday that Iran has begun enriching uranium using advanced IR-2M centrifuges at the Natanz underground facility in another breach of the 2015 nuclear deal.

“On 7 March 2021, the Agency verified ... that: Iran had begun feeding natural UF6 into the third cascade of 174 IR-2m centrifuges,” then IAEA stated in a report obtained by Reuters.

“The fourth cascade of 174 IR-2m centrifuges was installed but had yet to be fed with natural UF6; installation of a fifth cascade of IR-2m centrifuges was ongoing; and installation of a sixth cascade of IR-2m centrifuges had yet to begin," the statement added.

In January, Iran began enriching uranium to 20% in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal which capped Iran's enrichment levels at 3.67%. Last month, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatened to begin enriching uranium up to 60%. Uranium must be enriched to 90% to develop a nuclear weapon.

Iran has also begun the process of creating uranium metal, a process for which there is no civilian use.