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Iran using advanced centrifuges in violation of nuclear deal, says IAEA

Iran using advanced centrifuges in violation of nuclear deal, says IAEA
Iran is violating the nuclear deal by enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges, the International Atomic Energy Agency has reported, after Iran said the European nations involved in the deal aren’t holding up their end.

The UN nuclear watchdog warned Iran has further breached the beleaguered JCPOA agreement by enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges and by planning to install hundreds more of those centrifuges, which were reduced in number from 19,000 to 6,000 under the terms of the deal. Iran is only permitted to use first-generation centrifuges to enrich uranium under the JCPOA.

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The move hasn’t exactly come as a surprise: Iran had informed the IAEA of its plans to add advanced centrifuge clusters to its uranium-enrichment setup, the agency acknowledged in its report, released on Thursday.

Iran has, for months, been systematically scaling back its commitments under the deal, in protest of its European partners' failure to hold up their end of the bargain - first exceeding the permitted stockpile limit of 300kg of uranium, then exceeding the 3.67 percent enrichment rate. Earlier this month, Tehran activated 40 advanced centrifuges.
Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called, in a statement on Thursday, for Iran to “give up all hope on Europeans” honoring their part of the deal, shaming their European partners for “not tak[ing] any action” to save the agreement after the US pulled out of it and slapped ever-increasing sanctions on Iran.

While in the past Tehran took the line that its nuclear deal “violations” could be reversed should Europe decide to comply with the deal, Khamenei’s words suggested the Islamic republic is losing its patience.

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France, Germany and the UK – all partners in the nuclear deal – joined the US last week in laying responsibility on Iran for attacks on Saudi oil processing facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais earlier this month. This was despite Yemen’s Houthi rebels coming forward to claim the drone attack on Aramco plants and Riyadh failing to produce any evidence on the origin of the launches.

Last week, Saudi Arabia also joined the board of governors of the IAEA.

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