Satellite images show building at Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility – report

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Satellite images show building at Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility – report

Satellite images obtained by the Associated Press show new construction at Iran’s underground nuclear facility at the Fordow nuclear facility used for uranium enrichment.The report follows a report last week from The New York Times that Iran is moving a key Natanz nuclear site underground.Iran is under increased scrutiny in view of the upcoming change of administrations in Washington from that of US President Donald Trump, who has taken a harsh stance against Iran’s nuclear program, to that of President-elect Joe Biden, who is expected to take a more conciliatory one.Trump exited the 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Tehran and the six world powers, thereby reimposing powerful sanctions against the Islamic Republic.The other five countries – Russia, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom – want to maintain the deal.Activity at Fordow and Natanz is seen as early brinkmanship with the incoming Biden administration.

Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium is more than 2.4 tons, 12 times the cap set by the deal, though still far below the more than eight tons Iran had before signing it. Iran has been enriching uranium up to 4.5% purity, above the deal’s 3.67% limit, though below the 20% it achieved before the deal.

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if(window.location.pathname.indexOf(“647856”) != -1) {console.log(“hedva connatix”);document.getElementsByClassName(“divConnatix”)[0].style.display =”none”;}Iran is enriching uranium in places where it is not allowed under the deal, such as at Fordow, a site dug into a mountain. More recently, it has started enriching with advanced centrifuges at its underground plant at Natanz, where the deal says it can use only first-generation IR-1 machines.“What I see is that we’re moving full circle back to December 2015,” UN atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi told Reuters in an interview, referring to the month before the Iran deal’s restrictions were put in place, after which large amounts of material and equipment were swiftly removed.“If they want to do it [comply], they could do it pretty fast. But for all of those things we had a charted course,” he said.In his interview with Reuters, Grossi, who heads the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that polices the deal, said there had been too many breaches for the agreement for it to simply fall back into place.“I cannot imagine that they are going simply to say, ‘We are back to square one’ – because square one is no longer there,” Grossi said at IAEA headquarters.“There is more [nuclear] material… there is more activity, there are more centrifuges, and more are being announced. So what happens with all this? This is the question for them at the political level to decide,” said Grossi, an Argentine who took office as IAEA director-general a year ago.Asked if that meant there would have to be a “deal within the deal,” he replied: “Oh yes, oh yes – Undoubtedly.”“It is clear that there will have to be a protocol or an agreement – or an understanding or some ancillary document – which will stipulate clearly what we do,” he said.

Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA in Vienna Kazem Gharibabadi rejected Grossi’s assessment, saying that no deal would be forthcoming.

“The commitments of the parties and tasks have been delicately drafted and agreed and each side knows what to do to implement the deal.“There would be no renegotiation on the deal – and in case of its revival, there is no necessity for a new document on the agency’s role,” he said. “It’s not needed to complicate the situation.”

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