Iran moves machines to make centrifuge parts to Natanz

Iran has moved all of its machines that make centrifuge parts from its cocooned workshop in Karaj to its sprawling site in Natanz just six weeks after setting up another site in Isfahan to manufacture the same parts, the body said on Wednesday. UN nuclear watchdog.

Iran allowed International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors access to Karaj in December to reinstall surveillance cameras there after a months-long stalemate following what Tehran called Israeli sabotage that destroyed one camera and severely damaged another, prompting Iran to remove all four cameras.

A month later, Iran told the IAEA it was moving production of parts for advanced centrifuges, machines that enrich uranium, to a new location in Isfahan, and the IAEA installed cameras to monitor this work.

Little is known about the Ispahan mint. Diplomats said it is slightly larger than Karaj’s. On Wednesday, the IAEA said Iran had moved all equipment from Karaj to an unspecified location in Natanz, raising questions about whether it would ramp up production using both Natanz and Isfahan.

“On the same day (April 4), agency inspectors verified that these machines remained under agency seal at this location in Natanz and, therefore, were not functioning,” the IAEA said in a statement. statement summarizing a confidential report to member states seen by Reuters. .

Neither the statement nor the report described the location at Natanz, a site that includes a large underground enrichment plant and various buildings above ground.

Under an arrangement more than a year old, the IAEA does not currently have access to the data collected by some of its cameras, such as those at the new workshop in Isfahan.

“Without access to the data and recordings collected by these cameras, the agency is unable to confirm whether production of centrifuge components at the Isfahan workshop has begun,” the report to member states of the agency said. IAEA.