Iran deploys more centrifuges, proposes new round of talks |  Nuclear Energy News

Iran deploys more centrifuges, proposes new round of talks | Nuclear Energy News

Tehran, Iran – Iran has begun the process of pumping gas into cascades of new centrifuges as its top diplomat suggested a new round of talks in Vienna to revive the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), told state television on Monday evening that an order had been given to start supplying gas to “hundreds” of first-generation IR-1 and advanced IR-6 vehicles.

He said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been briefed on the move, which Camalvandi said is in line with a December 2020 parliamentary law that requires increased uranium enrichment using advanced machines until unilateral United States sanctions.

It comes hours after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Tehran was reviewing what was announced as the final proposed text last week by European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to “complete” negotiations that began in the Austrian capital in April 2021.

“We declared our readiness so that at the indicated time the delegations of Iran, 4+1 and the United States – indirectly – could continue their negotiations in Vienna to achieve results,” Amirabdollahyan said, referring to China, the participants in the nuclear deal. Russia, France, Germany and Great Britain.

Negotiations in Vienna to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the deal is officially called, were put on “pause” in March after most issues were resolved and only a few important points remained to be resolved. politically.

But indirect talks between Tehran and Washington have since stalled, and a two-day round of talks in Qatar in late June also ended without progress. It is still unclear whether the US and its European allies will agree to a new round of talks, while the EU has called for a final political decision on the proposed text.

For its part, Iran’s foreign minister on Monday confirmed that Tehran wants its “red lines” to be factored into a potential deal, which he said could be implemented if Washington shows “flexibility” and a “realistic” approach.

During a conference in New York on Monday to review the parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said a reinstated JCPOA remains “the best outcome” for global non-proliferation.

The US unilaterally backed out of the deal in 2018 under former President Donald Trump, imposing tough sanctions that have since been enacted and expanded by President Joe Biden.

On Monday, the Biden administration imposed new sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical exports. The Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned the move as a continuation of the “failed U.S. maximum pressure policy” and because dozens of Iranians died in flash floods. across the country.

“Knows how, but does not plan to make a bomb”

Speaking at the same conference, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said that if Tehran wants to prove the peacefulness of its nuclear program, it must provide the agency with “full information.”

“The lack of progress in verifying the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program will have implications for regional security,” he said.

Iran dismantled 27 of the agency’s cameras covered by the JCPOA in June after the US, UK, France and Germany put forward a resolution condemning its lack of cooperation with the agency and it was passed by the agency’s board of governors.

The developments come after several senior Iranian officials said in recent weeks that Iran has the technical capability to build a nuclear bomb but has no plans to do so.

On Monday, Iranian media widely quoted Iran’s nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami as making the statement, but AOEI spokesman Kamalvandi quickly tried to clarify, saying Eslami was “misunderstood and misjudged” by the media when he said it.

“Iran’s strategic capability and military power are deterrent enough to repel any external threats, making it pointless for the country to design and develop nuclear weapons,” Kamalvandi said.

But two other figures, advisers to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – Kamal Kharrazi and Mohammad Javad Larijani – said last month that Iran has the capability but no plans to develop nuclear weapons, signaling new rhetoric in Tehran’s address to the West.

Iran’s official position remains that it has never, and never will, search for a bomb in accordance with the Supreme Leader’s ruling.

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