Iran nuclear program
Iran nuclear program iStock

Iran has opened a centrifuge parts workshop at Natanz that will provide parts for its uranium enriching centrifuges, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) revealed in a Thursday report, according to Reuters.

The new plant will make use of machines Iran moved from its previous facility in Karaj, the U.N. atomic agency said.

The Natanz workshop’s opening points to Iranian plans for building advanced centrifuges in order to speed up uranium enrichment faster than it could accomplish with the first-generation centrifuges it was confined to use under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal framework.

Iran is now utilizing hundreds of highly advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium, some at nearly 60 percent – weapons-grade uranium needs to be enriched at 90 percent. Previous to 2015, Iran had been enriching at 20 percent and the nuclear deal had stipulated that it stay below 3.67 percent.

The nuclear watchdog’s report to UN member nations said that the new Natanz site contains a massive underground enrichment plant, which would provide a measure of cover from potential airstrikes.

"On 13 April 2022, Iran informed the Agency that the machines would start operating at the new workshop the same day," the report said.

The report also implied that since that time, the IAEA had not been granted access to the site.