The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) statement on Saturday announced a “turning point in R&D of Iran’s nuclear program by testing a new generation of its centrifuges.” The AEOI boasted that it had begun “injection of UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) to its highly advanced IR-8 centrifuges which are several steps more accelerated than older and less efficient IR-4 and IR-2 machines.”
Last Wednesday, the Deputy Head of the AEOI Asghar Zarean announced that this development is intended to increase Iran’s capability to enrich uranium, so that world powers remain cognizant of the Islamic Republic’s ability to replace old centrifuges with new ones, in order to potentially get its nuclear program going again “should the 2015 nuclear agreement be violated.”
“The mechanical tests of IR8 machine which has been made by Iranian experts and is fully ‘indigenized’ have ended and we will inject uranium gas into a single machine within the framework of the nuclear deal in Natanz and under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the very near future,” Zarean told Fars.
The AEOI on Saturday added it was “rejoiced to announce” that “IR-8 is the most advanced generation of centrifuges designed and developed by indigenous capabilities and know-how and is a great step forward in Iran’s nuclear industry; the AEOI congratulates the Leader, the President, and the nation on the achievement and asserts that it will continue R&D activities to produce research nuclear power plant fuel provisioned for by the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) known commonly as the Iran deal or Iran nuclear deal]”
A new report that was issued on the week of President Trump’s inauguration by the International Crisis Group, which provides a status update on the first year of the JCPOA’s implementation, urged the new president to preserve and strengthen the landmark agreement, rather than “tear it up,” because the consequences of killing the Iran nuclear deal would be “unfathomable.”
“Any attempt by the Trump administration to undercut the deal in the hope of ‘fixing’ it is likely to backfire,” the report cautioned. “Moreover, by destabilizing the JCPOA, the new administration could usher in what it says it seeks to prevent: greater Iranian assertiveness, more regional instability and lower odds of resolving the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen – places where Iran is part of the problem and thus ought to be part of the solution.”
In other words, President Trump must comply with the Iran nuclear deal and continue to support Iran’s economic empowerment by the US and the West… or else.