Iran has installed dozens of advanced centrifuges to accelerate uranium enrichment, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog disclosed Monday, a revelation representing just the latest in a series of provocative breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal by the Islamic Republic, Fox News reported.
A spokesperson for the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday inspectors confirmed the new centrifuges, which include 30 advanced IR-6 and three IR-6s models.
The centrifuges had been or were being installed, but had not yet been tested, according to the spokesperson.
A centrifuge enriches uranium by spinning uranium hexafluoride gas. Under the four-year-old atomic accord, Iran is supposed to be limited to operating 5,060 older IR-1 centrifuges.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesperson for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said Saturday that Iran had started injecting uranium gas into centrifuges.
Later on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters Israel has discovered what it claims is a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear weapons site. He said the facility was discovered in the records Israel says it seized from an Iranian nuclear warehouse early last year.
Netanyahu on Monday showed a satellite photo of the facility in the southern Fars province in the Abadeh area in June, followed by a second photo of what he said was the site being destroyed in July, after the Iranians realized they’d been discovered, Fox News added.
Netanyahu, a fierce critic of the 2015 nuclear deal, says Tehran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon – a charge Iran denies. “Israel knows what you’re doing, Israel knows when you’re doing it, and Israel knows where you’re doing it,” Netanyahu said.
Iran already has breached the stockpile and enrichment level limits set by the deal, while stressing it could quickly revert back to the terms of the accord, which is meant to keep Tehran from building atomic weapons by providing economic incentives, if Europe delivers sanctions relief.