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Iran resumes uranium enrichment

Reuters/Dubai
Filed on November 8, 2019

(Reuters)

The pact bans production of nuclear material at Fordow, a highly sensitive site that Iran hid from UN non-proliferation inspectors.

Iran said on Thursday it had resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear plant, stepping further away from its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after the United States pulled out of it.

The pact bans production of nuclear material at Fordow, a highly sensitive site that Iran hid from UN non-proliferation inspectors until its exposure in 2009. But with feedstock gas entering its centrifuges, the facility, built inside a mountain to withstand any air strikes, will move from the permitted status of research plant to being an active nuclear site.

"After all successful preparations..., injection of uranium gas into centrifuges started on Thursday at Fordow...The whole process has been supervised by the inspectors of the UN nuclear watchdog," the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) said in a statement carried by state media.

Washington condemned Iran's reactivation of enrichment and urged countries to increase pressure on Tehran. "Iran's expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.

"It is now time for all nations to reject this regime's nuclear extortion and take serious steps to increase pressure. Iran's continued and numerous nuclear provocations demand such action," Pompeo added.


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