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EghtesadOnline: Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are to visit the Fordow nuclear facility on Sunday to verify the uranium product that has been enriched as part of Iran's fourth step in reducing compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

"[UF6] Gas was injected into the machines and samples were taken. The agency was asked to oversee the process and its inspectors are set to examine the samples and report their verification tomorrow," Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesperson of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said in a press briefing at the nuclear site on Saturday, ISNA reported.  

Tehran is exceeding the limits set in the nuclear deal step by step in response to the United States' exit and reimposition of sanctions, as well as Europe's failure to alleviate the US pressure. 

On Tuesday, President Hassan Rouhani announced the initiation of the fourth step that involves injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges at the Fordow facility to enrich uranium, Financial Tribune reported.

"Fordow will reach its maximum capacity in the coming days," Kamalvandi said. 

The centrifuges had previously spun empty under the terms of the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which only allowed 5,000 SWU (Separative Work Unit) of enrichment. 

Separative Work Unit is a unit of measurement of the effort needed to enrich natural uranium so nuclear power plants can use it as fuel.

"It was said in JCPOA that … enrichment must not be carried out in Fordow for 15 years, but the operations began a few days ago," the AEOI spokesman added. 

The facility will now add 900 SWU to the country's enrichment capacity that currently stands at 8,600 SWU. 

"With the addition [of output] at Fordow, we will reach 9,500 SWU, which leaves no big gap with the capacity before JCPOA [11,000 SWU]," the spokesman said. 

The enrichment threshold will reach the 4.2% level at Fordow, according to Kamalvandi. 

JCPOA had capped the level of purity to which Iran can enrich uranium at 3.67%.

In the previous phases, Tehran exceeded the deal's limits on nuclear enrichment purity and stockpiles of enriched uranium as well as research and development, including the advancement of centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

European parties have warned of the risks of the deal's collapse, urging Iran to return to full compliance. 

Tehran, however, has promised more cuts in its commitments unless Europe acts, but maintains that its measures are "reversible" and will be undone once its economic problems are addressed. 


Iran Behrouz Kamalvandi uranium enrichment IAEA nuclear deal International Atomic Energy Agency visit Inspectors Fordow Verify nuclear facility uranium product fourth step reducing compliance