WorldMiddle East


Iran To Start Injecting Uranium Gas Into Centrifuges

It's another break from the 2015 nuclear deal, which allows Iran to continue operating those centrifuges as long as they spin empty.
Posted at 11:54 AM, Nov 05, 2019

Iran's president announced his country will begin to inject uranium gas into more than 1,000 centrifuges at its Fordow uranium enrichment facility starting on Wednesday.

It marks another break from the 2015 nuclear deal. Under the deal, Iran is allowed to continue operating those centrifuges as long as they spin empty. That's because introducing uranium gas into the centrifuges is part of the process for enriching uranium. 

The uranium gas announcement came one day after the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said the country is now operating dozens of advanced centrifuges. Those advanced centrifuges let Iran reportedly produce uranium 10 times faster than what's allowed under the nuclear agreement.

Additionally, the nuclear chief said Iran has a prototype in the works for a centrifuge that'll produce uranium even faster. 

The Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear pact last year. Since then, the U.S. has gradually reimposed sanctions on Iran, which hit the country's economy hard.

European nations are still in the deal, but Iran began rolling back its commitments to the agreement in May. It's vowed to continue incremental steps away from the deal until it gets better terms to offset U.S. sanctions.

Iran's advanced centrifuge announcement coincided with the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. To mark the occasion, Iranian state media said demonstrators burned American flags in front of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran on Monday and chanted anti-American slogans.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN