Moscow: Yet again breaching its nuclear deal with world powers, Iran has started enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Thursday (local time).
The UN nuclear watchdog, in a report, also warned that Iran has further breached the beleaguered Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, by planning to install hundreds more of those centrifuges, which were reduced in number from 19,000 to 6,000 under the terms of the deal, Russia Today reported.
Iran is only permitted to use first-generation centrifuges to enrich uranium under the JCPOA. Iran had previously informed the IAEA of its plans to add advanced centrifuge clusters to its uranium-enrichment setup, the agency acknowledged in the report.
Iran has, for months, been systematically scaling back its commitments under the deal, in protest of its European partners' failure to hold up their end of the bargain -- first exceeding the permitted stockpile limit of 300kg of uranium, second, exceeding the 3.67 per cent enrichment rate. Earlier this month, Tehran had activated 40 advanced centrifuges.
Meanwhile, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a statement, stated Tehran to "give up all hope on Europeans" honouring their part of the deal, shaming their European partners for "not taking any action" to save the agreement after the US pulled out of it and slapping unending sanctions on the Islamic country.
While in the past, Iran took the line that its nuclear deal "violations" could be reversed should Europe decide to comply with the deal. But Khamenei's words suggest that the Islamic Republic is losing its patience.
France, Germany and the UK - all partners in the nuclear deal - joined the US last week in laying responsibility on Iran for attacks on Saudi oil processing facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais earlier this month.
This was despite Yemen's Houthi rebels coming forward to claim the drone attack on Aramco plants and Riyadh failing to produce any evidence on the origin of the launches. Last week, Saudi Arabia also joined the board of governors of the IAEA.