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Iran turns off surveillance cameras, installs more centrifuges underground

Iran has begun installing advanced IR-6 centrifuges at a previously planned underground uranium enrichment plant and now intends to add two more such units.

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Reuters news agency quoted the notice of the United Nations nuclear watchdog to member countries yesterday (June 8). Iran’s moves were mentioned by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a secret report sent to member states, shortly before the agency’s executive board approved a draft of criticism. Iran for unexplained reasons that traces of uranium were found at several undeclared locations. Iran later warned of retaliation.

Iran’s commercial-scale Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz is the largest and is built underground, apparently to protect it from possible aerial bombardment.

The 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers only allowed Iran to use the first generation IR-1 machines at the plant in Natanz, but after the US withdrew from the agreement in 2018, Iran installed the nuclear power plants. much more efficient, advanced centrifuges like the IR-2m and IR-4. Months later, Iran delayed the installation of an IR-6 unit despite planning.

The IAEA report said: “On June 6, Iran sent a letter reporting its intention to install two new IR-6 units at the underground plant. By June 8, the IAEA had confirmed proved this and found that Iran has not installed two new units.”

Also on June 8, Tehran announced the voluntary cessation of cooperation with the IAEA outside the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iranian officials explained that, under this move, IAEA cameras at Iran’s nuclear facilities will be dismantled if not specified in the NPT.

According to RT news agency, the above statement was made when Iran halted an Online Enrichment Monitoring System (OLEM) and a flow meter that the IAEA had set up at one of its nuclear facilities. Tehran accuses the IAEA of not appreciating the extensive cooperation it has with Iranian authorities. And that, the IAEA did not understand that such cooperation was an act of goodwill by Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) but considered it an obligation of the country.

According to Iranian media, about 80% of IAEA surveillance cameras installed at Iran’s nuclear facilities are protected under the NPT agreement.

Hoai Linh

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