On Thursday, a US agency revealed that Iran is aiming to boost its production of nuclear fuel at a major facility that was apparently sabotaged last July.
According to Bloomberg, Iran is transferring new generations of advanced centrifuges used to enrich uranium, the heavy metal needed for nuclear energy and weapons, from an experimental facility to a new hall in its primary fuel plant in Natanz.
The agency, which based its information on a document from the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Iranian engineers have already installed the necessary tubes to collect larger quantities of material that will be created by 3 new sets of centrifuges, each equipped with 164 machines that spin at supersonic speeds to separate uranium isotopes.
The report by “Bloomberg” agency coincides with the travel of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to meet the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, in Vienna on Friday.
Grossi sent his chief watchdog for meetings in Tehran before Pompeo arrived this week, according to officials familiar with the matter.
While Iran has offered to show the inspectors where they want to see, it has also asked the agency to define the scope of their investigation, which both the International Atomic Energy Agency and Washington consider a “potential red line”.
According to “Bloomberg” agency, adding advanced centrifuges to Hall “B” of the Natanz fuel enrichment plant is another technical violation of the 2015 agreement with world powers.
Since the United States withdrew from the landmark agreement in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions, Iran’s stockpile of uranium has ballooned more than five-fold to more than 1,572 kilograms (3,465 pounds), and that’s enough heavy metal to make two bombs if Iran chooses to enrich the materials to weapons grade.
And, when the administration of US President Donald Trump began its duties, Iran’s stockpile was less than the 300 kilograms allowed under the deal.
Rafael Grossi’s public meeting with Mike Pompeo will be the second for them, since the Argentine diplomat made his first official visit as the new director of the International Atomic Energy Agency to Washington, DC, in February.
Less than a month later, the agency reopened an investigation into decades-old suspicious past Iranian activities, and this may have included some weapons research.
Pompeo is visiting governments in central Europe this week, in part to garner support for the United States’ efforts to extend the arms embargo on Tehran, and he said in an interview with Radio Free Europe, on Wednesday, that “Iran is a real threat to Europe, and it is not logical that it supports any European country.
The ability of the Iranians to possess weapons.
A member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in the Iranian Parliament, Representative Jawad Karimi Qudusi, revealed in July that “our final conclusion is that the security breach and overcoming security barriers caused the Natanz accident”.
Iran witnessed an explosion in a building belonging to the Natanz nuclear plant.
Three Iranian officials, who declined to be named, told Reuters that the explosion was a result of a cyber-attack, while other officials said that “Israel could be behind the attacks,” but they did not provide any evidence to support their allegations.