Iran sets up factory to build uranium enrichment centrifuge components

Iran sets up factory to build uranium enrichment centrifuge components
Iran has completed a new factory to produce components for uranium enrichment centrifuges, however it is not yet in operation as Tehran hopes the landmark 2015 nuclear deal will stand, even as it prepares for its fall.

The factory is capable of producing some 60 rotors for the IR-6 enrichment centrifuges on a daily basis, according chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Akbar Salehi. The plant has the potential to greatly boost the uranium enrichment capabilities of the country.

“Instead of building this factory in the next seven or eight years, we built it during the negotiations but did not start it,” Salehi said on Wednesday, as quoted by Iranian state media.

The works to complete the facility were greenlighted by the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, a month ago amid the uncertainties of the future of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The landmark agreement, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s Nuclear Deal (JCPOA), is under threat following the US decision to pull out of it and re-impose sanctions on Iran. Other signatories to the deal seem to be trying to uphold the JCPOA, yet European businesses have already begun to withdraw from Iran.

Iran has repeatedly warned that it would be forced to quit the deal if it did not receive the economic benefits envisioned by the JCPOA. Back in 2015, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. While Tehran still expects efforts from other signatories of the landmark agreement to fix it, it has clearly shown it’s ready to revitalize its enrichment activities if the talks fail.

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The ongoing activities themselves do not violate the nuclear deal and are mere “preparations” to boost the enrichment capabilities if needed, Iran’s top officials insist.

“We have of course adopted some measures in order to prepare the ground for eventually increasing the level of enrichment if it is needed and if the negotiations with the Europeans fail,” the AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said on Tuesday, as quoted by Press TV. “We are of course continuing to carry out and implement our obligations based on the JCPOA.”

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