Iran launches advanced centrifuges, weakening the Vienna agreement

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The 2015 nuclear agreement normally allows it to produce uranium enriched only with first-generation centrifuges.

Published today at 08:49, updated at 11:12

Time to Reading 2 min.

Will the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement finally be broken? Tehran, suffocated by US sanctions, is loosening its commitments a little more. The Islamic Republic has just launched advanced centrifuges whose production will increase the stock of enriched uranium produced by the country, said the spokesman of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (OIEA), Behrouz Kamalvandi, on Saturday 7 September.

The spokesperson explained in detail the measures of the new phase of Iran's commitment reduction plan towards the international community on its nuclear activities. He stressed that the commitments made by Iran towards the "Transparency" of its nuclear activities would be "Honored as before".

This concerns in particular "Surveillance and access" inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Kamalvandi told a press conference broadcast live on state television.

40 advanced centrifuges

Among the measures that reduce Iran's commitments, Kamalvandi announced that the OIEA had started 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 centrifuges, while the nuclear agreement The 2015 Iranian authorities allow in this phase to produce uranium enriched only with first generation centrifuges (IR-1).

The start of these centrifuges should accelerate the production of enriched uranium by Iran and increase stocks in the country, which since July exceeds the limit set by this agreement (300 kg) concluded between the Islamic Republic and the group 5 + 1 (China, United States, France, Great Britain, Russia and Germany).

Iran began in May to reduce its commitments under the agreement to retaliate against the US decision a year before denouncing the text and re-imposing economic sanctions on Tehran.

On Saturday, Defense Minister Mark Esper said he was "Not surprised" of this announcement. "They are already violating (the nuclear agreement), they have violated the non-proliferation treaty for years, so it's no surprise"commented.

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Reduction of the commitment plan

On Wednesday evening, Iranian President Hassan Rohani launched the third phase of Iran's commitment reduction plan by ordering OIEA to overcome any nuclear research and development limit.

Rohani said he had not achieved the desired result in France's recent diplomatic attempt to prevent the crushing of the nuclear deal.

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Violent economic recession

The Vienna Agreement has been threatened since the United States emerged unilaterally in May 2018, before restoring economic sanctions against Iran, whose economy, entered in the second half of 2018 in a violent recession, is suffocated by the American policy of "Max pressure". The new measures have been taken "So that we can see an expansion in (the domain) centrifuges »is "We know it's a big step for the Islamic Republic of Iran"said Rohani.

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In retaliation for the US withdrawal from the agreement, the Iranian authorities have begun to reconsider some restrictions on their nuclear program since May (increase in enriched uranium stocks beyond the limit set by the Vienna Agreement, enrichment of this mineral at a level prohibited by the text, ie more than 3.67%).

On 7 July, they gave sixty days, until Thursday, the remaining parts attached to the agreement (Germany, China, France, the United Kingdom and Russia) to help them bypass US sanctions, failing which they would be free from other obligations.

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