On Saturday, Iran said it has begun mechanical tests on its top-of-the-line nuclear centrifuge (IR-9), having a separative capacity of 50 SWU, even as the five world powers that remain in a foundering 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran effort to bring the United States back into the accord.
When operational, Iran’s IR-9 centrifuge would have the ability to separate uranium isotopes more rapidly than the present centrifuges being used, thereby enriching uranium at a faster pace. The announcement carried on state Television came on Iran’s 15th annual Nuclear Day.
The IR-9 centrifuge’s output is fifty times quicker than the first Iranian centrifuge, the IR-1. The nation also declared it had launched a chain of 164 IR-6 centrifuges on April 10 and is also developing IR-8 centrifuges.
Iran has begun enrichment of uranium at up to 20 percent purity since January 2021, a technical step away from weapons-grade levels. However, Iran’s management insists the nation has no desire to develop a nuclear warhead.
Former American President Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal in 2018, blaming Iran for failing to meet the agreement, opting for what he called a maximum-pressure campaign of stepped-up American sanctions and other challenging moves.
Iran replied by increasing its uranium enrichment and building centrifuges in plain violation of the agreement while requiring that its nuclear development is for civilian, not military determinations. The country still maintains the ambition of developing atomic weapons, pointing to Tehran’s ballistic missile program and research into other technologies.
Hassan Rouhani ordered to test IR-5 and IR-6 Centifuges
Iran repudiates it is pursuing nuclear warheads and says its atomic program is for peaceful ambitions.
Iran’s stockpile of twenty percent enriched uranium has reached 121 pounds, moving its atomic program closer to weapons-grade enrichment levels. In January, the material amount was 37 pounds. Moreover, Iran has installed 1000 IR-2 centrifuge machines and one cascade of 164 IR-4 machines. Both machines are in operation and have more speed than the IR-1 machines.
The engineer who answered Rouhani’s questions said they can industrialize these machines without any reliance outside Iran.
Iran’s Rouhani also ordered to begin feeding gas to test several thirty IR-5 centrifuges and thirty IR-6 centrifuges, which could increase if they are successful.
Iran has ceased since late February, abiding by a secret deal with the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog reached as part of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has additional protocols with several nations it monitors.
In 2017, the agency said that the IAEA collects and analyzes thousands of images captured on a daily basis by its sophisticated surveillance cameras under the protocol with Iran. Moreover, the agency said then that it had placed two thousand tamper-proof seals on atomic material and equipment.
However, Iran’s parliament passed a bill in December 2020 requiring the administration to limit its cooperation with the IAEA and push its nuclear program beyond the limits of the 2015 nuclear agreement. After the bill became law, the country then began enriching uranium up to 20 percent purity and spinning advanced nuclear centrifuges, both barred by the agreement.
Vienna Talks aimed at Bringing United States back into the Nuclear Deal
Iran argues that America’s departure from the nuclear agreement was the primary violation of the accord by either nation, and therefore, the United States of America must take the first action and remove sanctions before Iran returns to compliance.
United States President Biden came into office saying that getting back into the agreement and getting Iran’s atomic program back under global restrictions was a priority. But America and Iran have disagreed over Tehran’s demands that sanctions be lifted first. Also, that deadlock has threatened to become an early foreign policy setback for the new American President.
Vienna-Talks aimed at bringing America back into the agreement with Iran broke Friday without any immediate signs of progress on issues dividing Tehran and Washington.
However, delegates spoke of a constructive atmosphere and resolved to continue the negotiations.