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Iran violating 2015 Nuclear Deal again with use of advanced centrifuges, Reuters reports

Cascade of gas centrifuges used to produce enriched uranium. (U.S. Department of Energy Archives/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran plans to install more advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges at an underground plant in breach of its troubled deal with major powers, Reuters reported on December 4, citing a UN nuclear watchdog report.

The confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report obtained by Reuters said Iran plans to install three more clusters of advanced IR-2m centrifuges in the underground plant at Natanz, located about 300 kilometers south of the capital, Tehran.

According to its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, Iran can only use the less-efficient, first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at the underground plant.

Iran recently started uranium enrichment with one cluster of IR-2m machines at Natanz and is planning to install two more clusters, Reuters reported, citing the document.

The breach is the latest in a series of violations by Iran of the nuclear deal in response to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement and his reimposition of punishing economic sanctions.

Tehran says its breaches can quickly be reversed if Washington’s moves are undone. President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on January 20, said he is willing to rejoin the nuclear agreement if Iran moves back into compliance.

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said later on December 4 that Iran was “desperately” signaling its willingness to return to the negotiating table to get sanctions relief, though he did not back his claim with any proof.