On April 1, Iran has started testing the improved IR-9 uranium enrichment centrifuges at the underground plant in Natanz, according to the statements by the official representative of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Behruz Kamalvandi.
“One of the advances made in the field of [uranium] enrichment is the beginning of the mechanical test of the IR-9 centrifuge,” Behrouz Kamalvandi told ISNA.
According to the claims, IR-9 centrifuges have a capacity of 50 SWU (Separative work unit, one of the centrifuge capacity indicators). The official added that “this equipment is entirely of domestic production, created and functioning in accordance with the new standards.”
Iran has been working for many years to create new and modernize existing centrifuges for uranium enrichment. In response to the unilateral US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Tehran has begun using advanced centrifuges at its nuclear facilities.
Thus, Iran is going to use the fourth cascade of IR-9 class centrifuges, together with IR-1, IR-2m and IR-4 centrifuges. Under the terms of the nuclear deal, Iran can only use IR-1 ones.
At the moment, it seems that there no coming solution for the Iranian nuclear deal, as the U.S. and Iran cannot find any agreement.
The same day, on April 6, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Arakchi repeatedly claimed that the lifting of US sanctions against Tehran is necessary for the nuclear deal to be restored.
The statement was made amid the on-going indirect talks between Iran and Washington in Vienna. As follows from the message of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first round of negotiations of the joint commission on the JCPOA has already taken place, during which it was decided to hold expert consultations on the issue of lifting sanctions and nuclear activities.
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