The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, on Wednesday said it has built a factory that can produce rotors up to 60 centrifuges a day, as the country step up its plan in confrontation with the U.S. over it nuclear weapon programs.
The announcement came a month after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered agencies to prepare to increase uranium enrichment capacity if a nuclear deal with world powers falls apart after Washington’s withdrawal from the deal.
Under the terms of the 2015 agreement, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, but with Washington’s withdrawal, other signatories have to scramble to save the accord.
Iran has said it will wait to see what the other world powers can do, but has also signaled readiness to get its enrichment activities back on track. Iran has regularly emphasized that its nuclear work is just for electricity generation and other peaceful projects.
Akbar said the new factory did not in itself break the terms of the agreement.
“Instead of building this factory in the next seven or eight years, we built it during the negotiations but did not start it,” Salehi, said, according to state media.
“Of course, the [Supreme Leader] was completely informed and we gave him the necessary information at the time. And now that he has given the order this factory has started all of its work.”