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Iran increases uranium enrichment in retaliation to IAEA resolution

IAEA Flag [iaea.org]
IAEA Flag [iaea.org]

Iran has increased its enrichment of uranium and use of advanced in response to resolution by the world's nuclear watchdog against the Iranian government.

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Board of Governors passed a resolution condemning Iran's failure to cooperate with the agency and not abiding by the limits set out by the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

According to Iranian state media, the country responded by boosting uranium enrichment at the Fordow nuclear plant to 60 per cent and also supplying gas to centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear plant in Isfahan.

After an attack on the Natanz facility in April 2021, which Tehran accused Israel of conducting, the Iranian government already increased uranium enrichment there by 60 per cent. Since then, more advanced machinery was moved there in order to enable enrichment faster and more easily switch between enrichment levels.

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Although the current enrichment level in Fordow is still below the 90+ per cent purity required to produce a nuclear bomb – something Tehran has repeatedly insisted it does not pursue – it far exceeds the 3.67 per cent level agreed upon in the nuclear deal.

Last week's resolution by the IAEA was the second passed in six months which criticises Iran for insufficient cooperation. This latest one, however, is more assertive in that it threatens to take the case to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) if cooperation by Tehran does not improve.

According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Nasser Kanani – who announced yesterday that his country has taken measures in response to the IAEA – condemned the resolution as a "political move" that has no technical basis.

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