A report from the UN’s nuclear watchdog says Iran is starting to operate a new workshop at its Natanz nuclear facility that will manufacture parts for uranium enrichment centrifuges with machinery recently moved from its installation of Karaj.
“On April 12, the agency completed installing the surveillance cameras at this location and then removed the seals from the machines,” Reuters said citing the confidential report to member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency. , without describing where in Natanz that location was.
“On April 13, Iran informed the agency that the machines would start working in the new workshop on the same day,” he added, without saying whether he had verified that the machines had started working.
The development comes as Iran and several world powers are negotiating a revival of the 2015 nuclear deal under which Tehran had severely limited its sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.
The United States pulled out of the deal in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy. Iran responded by gradually expanding its nuclear activities.
Under President Joe Biden’s administration, Washington has expressed interest in joining the deal if Iran returns to full compliance.
Several rounds of talks over the past year have brought the two sides closer to an agreement, although talks have recently stalled on several outstanding issues.