As its top diplomat proposed a new round of negotiations in Vienna to restore the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iran has begun the process of feeding gas into cascades of new centrifuges.
An order was given to begin feeding gas into “hundreds” of both first-generation IR-1 and advanced IR-6 machines, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesperson of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), told state television on Monday night.
Kamalvandi stated that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was informed of the move, and is in line with a December 2020 parliament law that demanded increased uranium enrichment using advanced machines until such a time that unilateral United States sanctions are lifted.
The development comes hours after Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran is reviewing what was billed as a final proposed text by the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell last week.
In reference to the nuclear-deal parties China, Russia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Amir-Abdollahian said, “We have announced our readiness so in a specified time the delegations of Iran, 4+1 and the US – indirectly – can follow up on their talks in Vienna to pursue results.”
After most issues were resolved, leaving only a handful of impactful points left that need to be decided politically, the negotiations in Vienna to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the deal is formally known, were put on “pause” in March.
However, since then, indirect negotiations between Tehran and Washington have stalled, and a two-day round of talks concluded in Qatar in late June without progress.