Iran Operating More Advanced Centrifuges as Nuclear Negotiations Restart
An International Atomic Energy Agency report to member states says that Iran has completed installing three advanced IR-6 centrifuge cascades at its Natanz fuel enrichment plant, Reuters reported. Iran reportedly also informed the IAEA that it will install an additional six IR-2m cascades at Natanz.
The IAEA report comes as negotiators from Iran, the United States and the European Union separately announced that they were leaving for Vienna to continue talks on reupping the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The talks reportedly will resume on Thursday.
The previous round of indirect talks, held in late June in Doha, between negotiators for Iran and the United States ended without any significant progress. The talks have been stalled for several months over Iran’s demand that the US remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization List, and over US economic sanctions against Iran. The Trump Administration pulled the US out of the nuclear deal in 2018 and slapped sanctions on Iran, leading Iran to enrich uranium at levels higher than allowed in the deal. The talks between Iran and the world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal began in Vienna in April 2021.
Iran is currently enriching up to 60% purity, which is considered a short technical jump to the 90% purity required for weapons-grade uranium, according to the IAEA.