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Iran uses advanced centrifuges in new nuclear deal breach: IAEA

Iran is using advanced models of centrifuges to enrich uranium [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 26 September, 2019

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Iran breached the faltering 2015 deal with world powers by starting to use advanced models of centrifuges to enrich uranium.
Iran has started using advanced models of centrifuges to enrich uranium, the UN's nuclear watchdog said Thursday, in a new breach of the faltering 2015 deal with world powers.

Advanced centrifuges at Iran's Natanz facility "were accumulating, or had been prepared to accumulate, enriched uranium", the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report seen by AFP

Under the 2015 deal with world powers that puts curbs on Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief, Tehran is only meant to enrich uranium using less efficient IR-1 centrifuges.

The landmark deal has been in jeopardy since May last year when President Donald Trump withdrew the US from it and reimposed sanctions.

The remaining parties to the deal with Iran - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - have tried to salvage the accord, but Tehran has repeatedly accused Europe of not doing enough.

Meanwhile, Iran's president said he would not meet Trump on Wednesday despite last-minute European efforts at the United Nations General Assembly to ease tensions as the United States again ramped up punishing sanctions.

French President Emmanuel Macron had shuttled between his US and Iranian counterparts over two days at the United Nations, trying to arrange a historic encounter that he hoped could reduce the risk of all-out war in the Middle East.

But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, addressing the General Assembly in New York, said he would refuse talks so long as the United States maintains its economic pressure.

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