Iran Enriching Uranium with New Advanced Machine Type at Underground Plant—IAEA

March 16, 2021


Francois Murphy



On March 15, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran had begun enriching uranium with a cascade of 174 advanced IR-4 centrifuges at the underground portion of the Natanz nuclear facility. The deployment of these centrifuges violates the international agreement restricting Iran's nuclear program, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which requires Iran to only enrich uranium using less efficient IR-1 centrifuges. Iran intends to add another IR-4 cascade at the Natanz site but has yet to begin installation. Iran is also currently using 522 IR-2m centrifuges in three cascades to enrich uranium in the underground plant at Natanz, after having begun to install them there last year.