Iran Confirms Plans to Install 1,000 More Centrifuges

Installation comes amid parliament's push to escalate civilian program

Iran continues to confirm reversible measures to increase their civilian nuclear program, following plans to enrich uranium to 20% with an announcement that they are to install 1,000 new centrifuges.

These measures come amid Iranian parliament orders to increase the program beyond prior limits, which they ordered in response to the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist.

What is driving the timing of a lot of this is the US election, with President Trump seen as much more hostile to Iran, and President-elect Joe Biden inclined toward diplomacy. Rouhani clearly wants to wait for Biden to engage in a new diplomatic deal, while Israel, behind the assassination, wants to provoke something while Trump remains in power.

Understanding that basic truth, what’s happening with Iran’s nuclear program is unfortunately predictable. Rouhani wanted to wait out the US, but Israel wanted to force a reaction by assassinating a top Iranian nuclear scientist. Israel never needs an excuse for timing the assassination of an Iranian, after all, so this left it up to Iran to decide what to do about it.

For Rouhani, patience is still the best case, but parliament wanted these moves to be a very public expression of displeasure. Still, since all of this is just related to the civilian program, it seems well short of being a pretext for war.

Iran has sought to emphasize that it is reversible, and that deals made with Biden could quickly bring them back to an expected civilian program. That makes Iran’s program even less of a deal.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.