Nuclear Iran
Nuclear IraniStock

Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency claimed that the Islamic Republic now has two cascades of advanced 348 IR2m centrifuges which can enrich uranium at a rate four times that older centrifuges, Reuters reported.

“Thanks to our diligent nuclear scientists, two cascades of 348 IR2m centrifuges with almost 4 times the capacity of IR1 are now running ...successfully in Natanz,” Kazem Gharibabadi said on Twitter. “Installation of 2 cascades of IR6 centrifuges has also been started in Fordow. There’s more to come soon.”

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

Last month, the Islamic Republic announced it had resumed enrichment of uranium at its underground site in Fordow. Iran plans to enrich uranium to 20%, a level it last reached before the 2015 deal.

Iran’s continued violations of the deal are viewed as a means to challenge US President Joe Biden, who has taken a different approach to the Iran deal than Trump and has expressed a desire to rejoin the agreement. Biden has stated that he would rejoin the agreement if Iran returned to full compliance first and that he would then seek to strengthen the agreement to address weaknesses such as the sunset clauses in the original deal.

The Iranian government, however, has ruled out the possibility of renegotiating the nuclear deal, saying it was fully discussed in detail five years ago and needs no renegotiations.