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Iran Planning Powerful, New Generation Centrifuges To Boost Enrichment


Iranian President Hassan Rohani and head of Iran's nuclear technology organization Ali Akbar Salehi (2-R) visit a nuclear facility during the National Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran, April 9, 2019

The Islamic Republic of Iran is planning to work on introducing a new generation of uranium enriching centrifuges, a lawmaker told local media on Sunday August 18.

The IR-8 Centrifuges are 20 times more powerful than the first-generation equipment Iran has been using for uranium enrichment.

Hamid Reza Hajibabaee quoted the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Chief Ali Akbar Salehi as telling parliamentarians that Iran has been producing IR-6 and IR-7 centrifuges so far, but it now plans to produce IR-8. But it is not clear how many IR-8 and centrifuges Iran plans to deploy eventually, considering limitations imposed by the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Salehi is quoted as saying that so far they have assembled 20 IR-8 centrifuges.

The organization had said in 2016 that that it had started testing IR-8 by injecting UF6 or Uranium Hexafloride.

On Saturday, another Iranian MP, Ebrahim Rezaee said that using Ir-6 and IR-8 centrifuges is part of Iran's third step in reducing its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal with West. He had said that the two new generation centrifuges were ready for operation.

Iran announced in May, on the anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, that it will reduce some of its commitment under the agreement every 60 days. So far, in the first two steps Iran has exceeded the 3.67 percent enrichment and the 300 kilogram stockpile of enriched Uranium.

Earlier the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had said that Iran had installed up to 33 IR-6 centrifuges, but had injected UF6 into only ten of the machines.

European diplomats have told Reuters that Iran's allowance to use only a few of these new generation centrifuges is a grey area of the nuclear deal also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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