Al-Monitor – Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, visited the Natanz nuclear facility in November. There, he spoke to reporters about Iran’s progress in reducing its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
Salehi said Iran has made operational a chain of 30 IR-6 centrifuges. In the last two months, he said, Iran has connected 15 new centrifuges. Salehi said that in the same time span Iran has added 2,660 SWU (separative work units), reaching a total of 8,660 SWU. Since taking the third step in reducing nuclear commitments in September, uranium production has gone from 450 grams a day to more than 5,000 grams a day.
Under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, Iran was permitted to operate 5,000 centrifuges of the first generation IR-1s. With the US exit from the JCPOA in 2018 and the resumption of international sanctions, Iran announced incremental reductions in its commitments to the JCPOA in two-month phases. Officials said they plan to take the fourth step in early November.
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