Sep 07, 2019 17:53 UTC
  • IAEA inspectors in Tehran to report new activities as Iran launches advanced centrifuges

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it has inspectors on the ground in Iran who will be able to look into Tehran's move to turn on advanced centrifuges to increase the country's uranium stockpiles.

According to Press TV, the United Nations nuclear agency said on Saturday that it was aware of the reports “related to Iran’s centrifuge research and development.”

The Vienna-based agency added that its "inspectors are on the ground in Iran and they will report any relevant activities to IAEA headquarters.”

Earlier in the day, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said that the country has started up advanced centrifuges to boost its stockpile of enriched uranium, warning signatories to a 2015 nuclear deal that the clock is ticking for them to salvage the landmark agreement in the face of pressure by the United States.

As a third step in Iran's reduction of commitments under the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the AEOI said it has activated 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 centrifuges for research and development purposes.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the country will expand its nuclear research and development as of September 6, setting aside the restrictions imposed on the country's research and development (R&D) in the JCPOA.

"We took the first step in reducing our commitments, and gave the P4+1 a two-month deadline. Then we went ahead with the second phase, giving them another two-month deadline. In the four-month period, we held negotiations with the P4+1, including the European Union and the three European countries in particular," Rouhani said.

The third step comes after the Europeans failed to meet a 60-day deadline to meet Iran’s demands and fulfill their commitments under the multilateral deal.

Iran says its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions, which were re-imposed last year when President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA.

An IAEA spokesman said on Friday that the acting chief of the agency, Cornel Feruta, plans to visit Iran to hold talks with high-level Iranian officials in Tehran on Sunday.