Iran Begins Enriching Uranium With New Centrifuges

New centrifuges are far more efficient

The IAEA has confirmed that Iran has begun enrichment with the first cascade of upgraded centrifuges at Fordow. This model of centrifuge is vastly more efficient that the IR-1 centrifuges originally used.

The cascade is enriching to 20 percent purity. This is the level used in fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR). The TRR produces medical isotopes in Iran.

US diplomats seem to be trying to spin this enrichment as an attempt to gain leverage at the Vienna nuclear talks. The process of upgrading centrifuges, however, was ongoing long before the talks were scheduled, and this was almost certainly coincidental.

Iran is allowed under the nuclear deal to continue to upgrade its centrifuge technology, and replacing old machines — many of which have been sabotaged by Israel — with new, better machines is perfectly natural.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.