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IAEA: Iran Violating Nuclear Deal with Advanced Centrifuges
Iran’s then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveils a uranium-enrichment centrifuge in April 2010. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images)

IAEA: Iran Violating Nuclear Deal with Advanced Centrifuges

Iran has begun operating advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges underground at its main nuclear site in Natanz, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iran is feeding uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas, the raw material used as fuel, into the advanced centrifuges, according to an IAEA report sent to member states on Tuesday and obtained by Reuters on Wednesday. The use of advanced centrifuges violates the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers. Iran began violating the accord in 2018, after US President Donald Trump withdrew. President Trump reportedly asked his senior advisers last week whether he could launch a strike against Natanz prior to leaving the White House, and was convinced to abandon the idea. The number of advanced IR-2m centrifuges is relatively small and does not significantly change how long it will take for Iran to make a functioning nuclear weapon, according to reports. The Islamic Republic has also succeeded in making much more advanced centrifuges that it has not yet put into operation.

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