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Iran 'enriching uranium at 20% purity,' says nuclear watchdog

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks during a press conference after the virtual IAEA Board of Governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters of the UN seat in Vienna, Austria, on 24 November 2021. [Aşkın Kıyağan - Anadolu Agency]
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks during a press conference after the virtual IAEA Board of Governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters of the UN seat in Vienna, Austria, on 24 November 2021. [Aşkın Kıyağan - Anadolu Agency] ( Aşkın Kıyağan - Anadolu Agency )

Iran has started to enrich uranium up to 20 per cent purity at Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday. The equipment being used is far more efficient than the first-generation of machines, noted the agency.

According to the UN nuclear watchdog, Tehran has 94 IR-6 machines installed in a cascade at Fordow that is not yet operating. Last month the IAEA reported that Iran was running 166 advanced IR-6 centrifuges at the Fordow facility, but without keeping the enriched product.

However, Iran played down the significance of the report. "The recent report of the IAEA on Iran's nuclear activities, is a routine update in line with regular verification in Iran," said Tehran's permanent mission to the UN organisation in Vienna.

The IAEA announcement coincided with the resumption of talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

READ: Even successful nuclear talks will see US and Israel fighting Iran and proxies 

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