Iran Cuts Number of Centrifuges Enriching Uranium to 60% Purity, IAEA Report Says

April 22, 2021


Francois Murphy



The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on April 21 that Iran was using just one cascade of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium to 60 percent purity at the aboveground portion of the Natanz nuclear facility, instead of the two it had been using previously. A single cascade of IR-6 centrifuges continued to enrich uranium to 60 percent while the other cascade, comprised of IR-4 centrifuges, now enriched the depleted uranium from the IR-6 centrifuges to 20 percent. The IAEA did not clarify the reason for the shift, nor did it specify the number of centrifuges in each cascade. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 international agreement placing limits on Iran's nuclear program, obliges the country to enrich uranium to no more than 3.67 percent purity.