Iran Boosts Uranium Enrichment Following IAEA Resolution

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) stated on Tuesday that stockpiles of uranium enriched up to 60% had increased at Natanz nuclear facility, and that its production has begun for the first time at the Fordow fuel enrichment plant.

Iran Boosts Uranium Enrichment Following IAEA Resolution
Image credit: Reuters [via PressTV]

Facts

  • The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) stated on Tuesday that stockpiles of uranium enriched up to 60% had increased at Natanz nuclear facility, and that its production has begun for the first time at the Fordow fuel enrichment plant.
  • Tehran is in possession of six "cascades," or clusters, of "IR-6" centrifuges in service at three plants at Fordow and Natanz. The IR-6 is the most advanced model Iran is using on such a scale, and it reportedly intends to add 14 more IR-6 cascades at Fordow.
  • This comes a day after Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani announced that Tehran had taken steps in response to last week's IAEA censure resolution, which criticized Iran for alleged insufficient cooperation with the nuclear watchdog. Kanani dismissed the second resolution in six months as politically motivated.
  • Tehran has long denied any ambitions to develop nuclear weapons, stating that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only. While weapons require at least 90% purity, a significant stockpile of 60% enriched uranium could reduce the time needed to build a nuclear bomb.
  • Meanwhile, the UK, France, and Germany — the so-called "E3" — condemned the expansion of Iran's nuclear program, saying Tehran was going "well beyond" the limits set out in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a 2015 agreement to limit Iran's nuclear activities.
  • Negotiations to revive the JCPOA have been stalled for months. Most recently, the US declared that the talks were no longer a top priority given the ongoing protests that erupted in Iran in September.

Sources: Irna, Reuters, Al Jazeera, CBS, and Arab.

Narratives

  • Anti-Iran, as provided by BNN Bloomberg. Tehran may argue that its nuclear program is peaceful, but this is hard to believe given that Iranian atomic activity is expanding at an unprecedented pace and authorities have imposed restrictions on international monitoring. Tehran must urgently resume cooperation with the IAEA monitors to avoid further escalations that may destabilize regional and global security.
  • Pro-Iran, as provided by Press TV. The IAEA Board of Governors had been warned that approving an unconstructive resolution based on false claims only to maintain a Western-led maximum-pressure campaign would cause a backlash. The IAEA should not be surprised that Iran has boosted uranium enrichment. Tehran is open to conducting technical talks with the IAEA experts but will not accept attempts to politicize its nuclear program.

Predictions