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ROUHANI: Iran to continue scaling back commitments to nucl​ear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference at Salam Palace in Baghdad, Iraq March 11, 2019. (photo credit: THAIER AL-SUDANI/REUTERS)

Rouhani, speaking on state television, also said Iran would start working on more advance uranium enrichment centrifuges.

5.11. 2019 10:30 

GENEVA – Iran will take a new step in reducing commitments to a landmark 2015 nuclear deal on Wednesday by injecting gas into 1,044 centrifuges at its Fordow plant, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday in a speech broadcast live on state TV.

All of the steps Iran has taken to reduce its commitments to the nuclear deal are reversible and Iran will uphold all of its commitments under the deal when the remaining signatories do the same, Rouhani said.

“We know their sensitivity with regard to Fordow. With regard to these centrifuges, we know. But at the same time when they uphold their commitments we will cut off the gas again…So it is possible to reverse this step,” Rouhani said. “We can’t unilaterally accept that we completely fulfill our commitments and they don’t follow up on their commitments.”

Under the terms of the deal the Islamic Republic is allowed to spin the centrifuges at Fordow without injecting gas, Rouhani said.

On Monday, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, announced that Iran was developing centrifuges to speed up its uranium enrichment.

“Today, we are witnessing the launch of the array of 30 IR-6 centrifuges,” Salehi, who heads Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told state television. “Iran now is operating 60 IR-6 advanced centrifuges. It shows our capacity and determination.”

Under the agreement between Iran and world powers, Tehran is only allowed to enrich uranium with just over 5,000 of its first-generation IR-1 centrifuges. An IR-6 centrifuge can enrich uranium 10 times faster than the IR-1s.

“Our scientists are working on a prototype called the IR-9, that works 50 times faster than the IR-1s,” Salehi said.

Tensions have risen between Tehran and Washington since last year when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord under which Iran had agreed to rein in its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

Source: Reuters

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