The International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday reported that Iran had recently begun breaching yet another part of the nuclear deal it reached with world powers in 2015. According to the United Nations watchdog, the Islamic Republic has installed a set of advanced IR-4 centrifuges with which it is enriching uranium at an accelerated pace in its Natanz underground facility. Another cascade of identical centrifuges is set to be operated soon, in addition to the recently added 174 IR-4 and the existing 522 IR-2 centrifuges and 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges. According to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is meant to limit Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, it is only allowed to operate IR-1 machines at Natanz. Last year, just prior to a mysterious explosion and large fire that was blamed on foreign powers, Tehran began transferring its Natanz operation underground. Iran has demanded that the United States, which pulled out of the 2015 agreement in 2018 and reimposed sanctions, be the first to return to compliance, while Washington insists on the opposite.
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