Iran has taken further steps away from its crumbling nuclear deal with world powers by announcing it is doubling the number of its advanced centrifuges, calling the move a direct result of the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement last year.
As well as operating twice as many advanced centrifuges banned by the 2015 accord, Tehran is working on a prototype that is 50 times faster than those allowed by the deal, Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, said on Monday.
Salehi said Iran is now operating 60 IR-6 advanced centrifuges. Such a centrifuge can produce enriched uranium 10 times as fast as the first-generation IR-1s allowed under the accord.
By starting up these advanced centrifuges, Iran further cuts into the one year that experts estimate Tehran would need to have enough material for building a nuclear weapon – if it chose to pursue one.
Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari reports from Tehran.
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