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Nukes By Autumn? Islamic Republic to Triple Nuclear Enrichment Capacity: Report

A technician at the Fordow nuclear facility. AP
A technician at the Fordow nuclear facility. AP

Major renovations are taking place at two of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities that could soon triple uranium enrichment productivity, according to a report by The Washington Post.

Citing confidential documents and discussions with International Atomic Energy Agency employees, the newspaper confirmed that there is new construction inside the Fordow processing facility.

Fordow, located mostly underground in north-central Iran, is reportedly being outfitted with 1,400 new IR-6 centrifuges that will be assembled into eight cascades to serve as the manufacturing structure. It is estimated that this work will be completed within four weeks.

In addition to the upgrades at Fordow, IAEA representatives stated that Tehran has also disclosed plans to increase capacity at another location near the city of Natanz, although these measures are said to be smaller in scale.

According to a technical summary given to The Post, enhancements at Fordow alone are projected to boost output by 360 percent. This would enable the regime to accumulate sufficient fissile material to produce several offensive nuclear devices each month, on top of the 300 lbs. of highly enriched uranium they currently hold.

Officially, the Islamic Republic’s nuclear policy is limited to civilian use and forbids atomic research to be used for creating weapons; however, recent comments from high-ranking regime officials have indicated that they may be changing this position over what they say are increasing threats from Israel.

United Nations regulators have harbored persistent doubts about this no-weaponization policy because, despite international agreements capping uranium enrichment rates at 3.67 percent, sample particles as high as 84 percent have been detected during monitoring.

Tehran has stated that they are implementing these new procedures because of a June 5 censure by the IAEA for their failure to cooperate with U.N. inspectors.

“In this instance, in response to the Board of Governors’ unnecessary, unwise, and hasty resolution, Iran has officially communicated its decision to the IAEA,” read an email from a spokesperson at the Islamic Republic’s U.N. mission in New York.

Related Story: Biden Admin Urges Allies Against Confronting Iran on Nuclear Program Ahead of U.S. Elections: Report

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