An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report is expected to show that Iran has installed more uranium enrichment centrifuges at its underground Fordow facility. Once operational, these centrifuges could potentially boost Iran’s capacity of nuclear production that major world powers are currently attempting to stop in Baghdad, according to Western diplomatic source cited in Reuters.
The two diplomatic sources claimed that Tehran may have placed in position nearly 350 new centrifuges since February – in addition to the almost 700 centrifuges already operating at the underground Fordow facility – but that they were not yet being used to enrich uranium.
If confirmed in the next quarterly report on Iran’s nuclear programme by the IAEA, expected on Friday, it is likely to be seen as an indication of continued defiance by Tehran of international demands to suspend such activity.
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano visited Iran earlier this week, saying he was expecting to sign a deal with Iran soon to unblock an investigation into suspected work on nuclear weapons.
Iran is currently engaged in high-level talks with the P5+1 (the UN’s five permanent security council members plus Germany) who are attempting to curtail the advance of Iran’s contentious nuclear programme.
On day two of the talks in Baghdad, Iran and the P5+1 have exchanged unusually detailed proposals. At this point, however, it is still unclear where the talks are heading, but notable differences remained between the six world powers and Iran over when Tehran would be rewarded with relief from economic sanctions.