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UN nuclear watchdog confirms Iran's advanced centrifuges installation

The IAEA statement follows a similar statement by Iran on Saturday [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 September, 2019

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The UN's nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran has installed or is installing at least 56 centrifuges as world powers struggle to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal.
The UN's nuclear watchdog confirmed on Monday that Iran is installing advanced centrifuges as the troubled 2015 deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear programme threatens to fall apart.

In a statement the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that on September 7 it had "verified that the following centrifuges were either installed or being installed...:  22 IR-4, one IR-5, 30 IR-6 and three IR-6".

The IAEA statement confirms an earlier statement by Iran's nuclear authoriity, which said on Saturday that it has started up advanced centrifuges to boost its stockpile of enriched uranium.

The spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation said the firing up of the centrifuges was the Islamic Republic's third step in its reduction of its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal.

"The centrifuge machines, as they are engaged in research and development, will help with increasing the stockpile," spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said.

"The capacity of these machines is many times more than the previous machines. This started as of yesterday (Friday)," he told reporters.

But Kamalvandi said Iran would allow the UN atomic agency - the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - to continue monitoring its nuclear programme, as it has done under the 2015 accord with major powers.

Iran and three European countries - Britain, France and Germany - have been engaged in talks to save a 2015 nuclear deal that has been unravelling since the US withdrew from it in May last year.

European powers have emphasised their reliance on the IAEA in monitoring Iran's nuclear activity, however some concerns have been raised over possible hindrances to the agency's work.

In a report published on August 30, the IAEA said in an apparent hint at worries about access that "ongoing interactions ... require full and timely cooperation by Iran".

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