Iran starts injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at Fordow plant

Iran has started to inject uranium gas into centrifuges at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, state TV reported on Wednesday, as part of Tehran’s fourth step to scale back its commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

“With the presence of inspectors from International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran started injecting (uranium) gas into centrifuges in Fordow,” TV reported.

An International Atomic Energy Agency spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that inspectors were present.

“We are aware of the media reports today related to Fordow. Agency inspectors are on the ground in Iran and they will report any relevant activities to IAEA headquarters in Vienna,” the spokesman said in a statement.

Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers does not allow enrichment at Fordow.

Hassan Rouhani

@HassanRouhani

Iran’s 4th step in reducing its commitments under the JCPOA by injecting gas to 1044 centrifuges begins today. Thanks to US policy and its allies, Fordow will soon be back to full operation. https://twitter.com/HassanRouhani/status/1126018907502936065 

Hassan Rouhani

@HassanRouhani

Starting today, Iran does not keep its enriched uranium and produced heavy water limited. The EU/E3+2 will face Iran’s further actions if they can not fulfill their obligations within the next 60 days and secure Iran’s interests. Win-Win conditions will be accepted.

Iran’s underground uranium enrichment Fordow facility “will soon be back to full operation,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted, a few hours after Tehran announced that uranium gas had been injected into centrifuges at the site on Wednesday.

“Iran’s 4th step in reducing its commitments under the JCPOA (the 2015 nuclear deal) by injecting gas to 1044 centrifuges begins today. Thanks to US policy and its allies, Fordow will soon be back to full operation”, Rouhani tweeted.

Midnight

Iran’s Fordow plant will begin enriching uranium from midnight (2030 GMT), a spokesman for the Iranian atomic energy agency said Wednesday.

“In the coming hours, the process of injecting (uranium hexafluoride) gas into the centrifuges at the Fordow site will be finalized in the presence of inspectors” from the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Behrouz Kamalvandi, quoted by the semi-official news agency ISNA.

The “production” of enriched uranium will be “operational from midnight”, he added.

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