“We are aware of the media reports today related to Iran’s centrifuge research and development. Agency inspectors are on the ground in #Iran and they will report any relevant activities to IAEA headquarters in Vienna,” IAEA Spokesperson said in a tweet on Saturday hours after the spokesman for Atomic Energy Organization of Iran(AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi announced that injecting gas into advanced centrifuges had begun on Friday in a bid to increase its stockpile of enriched uranium as the third step to scale back on the commitments to the nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, Kamalvandi also said the IAEA has been informed about Iran’s new nuclear steps, adding that the UN watchdog will continue to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities.
In the face of lack of action by the other parties to safeguard Iran’s legitimate rights stipulated in the deal, on May 8, the anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal (JCPOA), Iran announced that it was partially discontinuing its obligations under the JCPOA and urged nuclear deal remaining signatories – China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom – to shield Tehran from Washington’s sanctions.
Tehran says its countermeasures fit within its rights under paragraphs 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal, and that it will reverse the measures once its demands are met.
As a first step, Iran increased its enriched uranium stockpile to a level above the 300 kilograms set by the JCPOA. In the second step, Tehran began enriching uranium to purity rates beyond the JCPOA-limit of 3.76 percent.
The Iranian President said on Wednesday night that the country will expand its nuclear research and development as the third step to scale back on its JCPOA obligations.
Details of the third step was announced by the AEOI spokesman during a press conference on Saturday.