Iran has deepened a key breach of its 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), enriching uranium with a larger number of advanced centrifuge machines in the Natanz underground plant.
Tehran has recently accelerated its breaches of the deal, raising pressure on new U.S. President Joe Biden.
Iran began breaching the JCPOA in 2019 in response to the U.S.’s withdrawal from the agreement in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and the reimposition of U.S. economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the deal.
The agreement says Iran can refine uranium only at its main enrichment site, the Natanz underground plant – with first-generation IR-1 centrifuges.
Last year, Iran began enriching there with much more efficient IR-2m machines, and announced in December that it would install three more machines.
A report obtained by Reuters has indicated that Iran is also continuing with the installation of more advanced centrifuges.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that Iran’s latest actions increased U.S. “urgency” to address Iran’s nuclear programme.