Iran has begun feeding uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas feedstock into the advanced IR-2m uranium-enriching centrifuges installed at its underground plant at Natanz, a UN nuclear watchdog report obtained by Reuters on Wednesday said.
The move is the latest breach by Iran of its nuclear deal with major powers, which says it can only accumulate enriched uranium with first-generation IR-1 machines and those are the only ones it can operate at the underground plant. A previous International Atomic Energy Agency report said Iran had installed IR-2m machines underground.
“On 14 November 2020, the Agency verified that Iran began feeding UF6 into the recently installed cascade of 174 IR-2m centrifuges at the Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) in Natanz,” the IAEA report to member states dated Tuesday said.
In July, a mysterious explosion rocked the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz. Initially, reports said a blast damaged a factory where advanced centrifuges were being tested, and then it was claimed that a cyberattack triggered the blaze. Credible sources subsequently quoted by the New York Times said the incident was the result of an explosive device planted at the site.
Tehran pointed its finger at Israel as responsible for the attack.
On Tuesday, meanwhile, the New York Times reported that US President Donald Trump recently considered an attack on the facility at Natanz.
According to the report, Trump decided to back off from the idea for fear that a strike would lead to a wider conflict in the weeks before his term in office was due to end.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has urged an aggressive policy against Iran, and in 2018 withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Source » israelhayom