Iran activates advanced centrifuges as deadline passes

Press TV – Iran says it has started up advanced centrifuges to boost the country’s stockpile of enriched uranium and that the clock is ticking for other parties to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal.

As a third step in Iran’s reduction of commitments under the deal, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) activated 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 centrifuges, its spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told a news conference in Tehran Saturday.

“We have started lifting limitations on our Research and Development imposed by the deal … it will include development of more rapid and advanced centrifuges … all these steps are reversible if the other side fulfills its promises,” he said.

“The centrifuge machines, as they are engaged in research and development, will help with increasing the stockpile,” spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said,.

“The capacity of these machines is many times more than the previous machines. This started as of yesterday (Friday),” he told reporters.

Kamalvandi said the International Atomic Energy Agency has been informed about Iran’s new nuclear steps which it will continue to monitor.

“Regarding the monitoring and accesses of the IAEA… so that everything is clear (Iran’s) commitments regarding transparency will be followed as before,” he said.

Upon announcing Tehran’s decision to expand nuclear research and development beyond limits set in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) earlier this week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a 60-day ultimatum for the European signatories of the deal to meet Iran’s demands and fulfill their commitments.

“Whenever they return to compliance with their commitments to the JCPOA, we will return to our commitments,” he said.

(This item is being updated.)