Iran has begun enriching uranium at the Fordow facility by feeding the centrifuge machines there with uranium hexafluoride (UF6) in the fourth step of reducing its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal.
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said in a statement that the operation started at 00:00 local time (20:30 GMT) on Thursday, November 7, after the transfer of a 2,800-kilogram cylinder containing 2,000 kilograms of UF6 from Natanz nuclear facility to Fordow – near the city of Qom, where 1,044 centrifuges are installed.
The 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), allowed the first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at Fordow to spin without uranium gas.
The spokesman for the AEOI had earlier said the injection of uranium hexafluoride is being monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Behrouz Kamalvandi said the plant will then resume uranium enrichment, and that the level of purity of enrichment will reach 4.5 percent by Saturday, when the inspectors will come back to check the process again.
An IAEA spokesman confirmed that UN inspectors are on the ground in Iran and will report back on relevant activities.
The fourth step in Iran’s commitment reductions was initially announced by President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday.
Rouhani confirmed in a tweet on Wednesday that the gas injection would begin later in the day.
In remarks last month, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said Iran will continue to reduce the JCPOA commitments until it gets the desirable results.
“Reduction of the nuclear commitments, which is a responsibility of the Atomic Energy Organization (of Iran), must continue with full seriousness and in a precise and comprehensive manner, as announced by the administration, until it achieves the appropriate result, and it will definitely yield results,” the Leader said.
Source: Iranian sources