Tehran is currently testing the latest IR-9 uranium enrichment centrifuges, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during a visit to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
“Today, our new IR6 centrifuges are working and the newer IR9s are being tested”, Rouhani said, as quoted by the presidential website.
Iran has been gradually lifting its commitments to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after the United States withdrew last year and reimposed sanctions. The fourth stage of the pullback from the agreement saw Iranian nuclear sites begin to enrich uranium in their centrifuges.
In November, the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, stated that Tehran was working on an IR-9 prototype that works 50 times faster than the first-generation IR-1 centrifuges.
The JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed by Iran, the European Union, and the P5+1 group — the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Russia, France plus Germany — in 2015. It stipulated that Iran considerably limit its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of international sanctions.
In 2018, the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal and reimposed economic sanctions on Iran. In May 2019, Iran declared an ultimatum to the other signatories — either they attempt to relieve the economic blockade or Tehran will begin gradually dropping its commitments under the deal every 60 days.
US foreign policy has sought to apply maximum pressure on Iran, primarily through severe sanctions.
Source: News Agencies