Iran begins feeding gas into IR-6 centrifuge machines: Spox

Iran has begun feeding gas into its IR-6 centrifuge machines as part of its third phase of reducing its nuclear commitments, according to the spokesman of the country’s nuclear agency Behruz Kamalvandi.

Subject to provisions of a 2015 nuclear deal Iran signed with six western countries (the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany), the country would be allowed to start feeding gas into its IR-6 centrifuge machines as of the beginning of the 11th year after signing the deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

However, just a year after the US unilateral exit from the deal in May 2018 and subsequent imposition of tough sanctions on Tehran, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran will suspend some of its commitments under the deal.

Kamalvandi, who was addressing a news conference on Saturday, gave further details about Iran’s third step to reduce its nuclear commitments.

He said that Iran which had stopped sending its surplus uranium and heavy water to foreign countries in the first phase and had surpassed the 3.67% limit for nuclear enrichment in the second phase, has now put research and development on the agenda of its third phase.

Apart from the issues raised in the past phases, there are some other issues in this file, including Fordow, the amount of Iran’s stockpile and the supervision, providing access to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and transparency, the spokesman said, adding that Iran has no intention to create any changes in the transparency.  

Today Iran has put aside 4.5 out of the 7 remaining cases, Kamalvandi said. He explained that half of the case relates to Iran's surpassing the enrichment level while the capacity of enrichment will depend on the number of centrifuges.

Kamalvandi noted that the changes Iran has created today in research and development will further facilitate the Iran nuclear plan towards 1 million SWU. "We will easily gain 270,000 SWU with the present JCPOA; but to say when we will be able to fulfill 1 million SWU will depend on our future measures regarding research and development."

Feeding gas into IR-4 centrifuge machines, which in accordance with the provision of Article 31 of Annex I of the JCPOA, was due to begin as of the beginning of the 11th year after signing the deal, has actually begun, the spokesman said.

"If we take four other measures, there will actually remain no more commitments in the enrichment area," he said, adding that one of these measures include launching the middle chain of IR-2m centrifuge machines which provided in Article 32 of Annex I of JCPOA, should have been done as of six years later, and another measure is launching the chain of 10 IR-5 centrifuge machines and feeding gas into it.

Iran’s stockpiles will increasingly grow as of nearly 20 days later which will be announced at the right time, Kamalvandi said, urging the other parties to the deal to uphold to their commitments under it.  

The spokesman noted that if they return to their commitments, Iran will return to its commitments too.  

Iran says it is acting under the provisions of Paragraph 36 of JCPOA which provides the country with the right to reduce its nuclear commitments as the US has withdrawn from the deal, and the other parties to it are not adhering their commitments under the accord to help Iran benefit from what was regarded as a landmark multinational agreement in 2015.

News Code 190791

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