Iran has started producing 60 percent enriched uranium at the Fordo plant, a rate well above the 3.67 percent threshold set by the 2015 international agreement on its nuclear program, Iran said. announced Tuesday, November 22 Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA).
The pact concluded in Vienna between Iran and the West aims to prevent Tehran from acquiring atomic weapons; a goal that Iran has always denied pursuing. But following the withdrawal of the United States in 2018 and the reinstatement of American sanctions that are stifling its economy, Tehran has gradually freed itself from its obligations.
In April 2021, Iran had announced that it had started producing 60% enriched uranium at the Natanz site (centre), approaching the 90% needed to make an atomic bomb.
Fordo’s underground plant, located 180 kilometers south of Tehran, had been recommissioned in 2019 and recently modified to achieve better efficiency.
Retaliatory measures against the IAEA
On Sunday evening, Iran announced that it had taken retaliatory measures against the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), following a resolution by the latter criticizing Tehran’s lack of cooperation, presented by the States United States and three European countries (United Kingdom, France and Germany).
Negotiations to revive the 2015 agreement, known by its English acronym JCPOA, concluded between Iran, the European Union and six major powers, including the United States, have stalled.
“Furthermore, in the second action in response to the resolution, Iran injected gas into two more IR-2m and IR-4 cascades at the Natanz site”, explained the ISNA. This ramp-up comes as the IAEA faces a sharp restriction of its on-site inspections.