President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday said that Iran will begin developing centrifuges to accelerate uranium enrichment, as part of its next step to reduce its nuclear obligations.
The 2015 nuclear deal with world powers allows Iran to keep limited quantities of first-generation centrifuges at two nuclear plants.
“As of Friday, we will see the research and development of different types of centrifuges and new centrifuges, as well as everything needed to enrich uranium at a rapid pace”, Rowhani said in a televised speech.
“All restrictions on our research and development will be lifted on Friday”, he said.
Iran says it only enriches uranium to make fuel for nuclear power plants.
Rouhani said Iran would take all necessary steps to protect its rights and interests and described the development of centrifuges as a third step to reduce its commitments to the nuclear deal.
The nuclear deal lifted economic sanctions in 2016 in return for Iran’s agreement to curb its nuclear activities. The United States quit the deal last year and reimposed sanctions.
The deal allowed Iran to keep 1,044 first-generation centrifuges at Fordow’s uranium enrichment facility and operate 5,060 such machines for 10 years at a second nuclear plant in Natanz.
The agreement also allows Iran to continue research and development on enrichment without accumulating enriched uranium, including the use of certain types of advanced centrifuges.
Earlier this week, A senior Iranian official said that Tehran would return to full compliance with the nuclear deal if it gets 15 billion dollars in oil sales over four months, a draft French plan to save the deal.
France has proposed to provide credit lines of about 15 billion dollars to Iran for oil sales by the end of the year to ensure oil revenues in return for Tehran’s return to full compliance with the nuclear deal in 2015, but offered depending on Washington’s opposition to it.
“Our return to full compliance with the nuclear deal is subject to 15 billion dollars over four months. If not, the process of reducing Iran’s commitments will continue”, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi was quoted as saying.