IAEA Confirms Iran Building Underground Centrifuge Facility in Natanz

Iran said structure was meant to increase security after previous sabotage

IAEA inspectors have confirmed that the Iranian government has begun building an underground facility in Natanz meant to assemble centrifuges. This confirmation comes six weeks after Iran publicly announced its intentions to do exactly that.

This construction is entirely legal by all accounts. Iran’s Natanz site was hit with an explosion in an instance of Israeli sabotage, and they said they would move it to the “heart of the mountains” for the sake of security.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi says the site is far from completion, and that it would be a long process. He declined to offer specifics on the construction, as it is confidential information. Since Iran had already reported that they were going to do so, this construction hardly comes out of left field.

International opponents of Iran, notably Israel and the US, will doubtless complain about this construction, since it is meant to make the facility harder to attack in the future. But again, defending the civilian enrichment site is perfectly legal.

The P5+1 nuclear deal gives Iran the right to construct centrifuges for civilian enrichment, and that implies having a factory, or even relocating the factory to avoid attacks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.