Iran is now using advanced centrifuge models to enrich uranium

Iran is using advanced models of centrifuges to enrich uranium, President Hasan Rouhani confirmed today.

The move marks another breach of the 2015 nuclear agreement which lifted economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for strict limits on the country’s nuclear program.

In 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — a move which Iran says nullified its own obligations. Trump has since reinstated sanctions on Iran.

Iran has already taken steps that are in breach of the landmark deal. It started increasing uranium enrichment beyond the purity threshold it originally agreed to, and has increased stockpiles of low-enriched uranium above the deal’s limits.

“The third step in the decrease of JCPOA commitments by us was that the limitations that we had vis a vis research and development; within the framework of the JCPOA we have left those limitations,” Rouhani told journalists at a press conference in New York City.

Rouhani’s statement confirmed a report by Reuters earlier on Thursday. The news agency said that the International Atomic Energy, a global nuclear energy watchdog, had found that Iran breached the JCPOA by enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges.

CNN has reached out to IAEA to obtain a copy of the report.

Rouhani said that Iran has previously informed IAEA that it would start using advanced centrifuges. He added that Iran has no plans to increase the enrichment level. “That is not the scope of what we’re doing,” he said.

Rouhani said that Iran would resume talks with the United States if sanctions imposed on the country are lifted.