TEHRAN, IRAN — Tehran is taking another step away from a 2015 nuclear accord by planning new nuclear centrifuges for enriching uranium.
According to Reuters, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran will begin developing centrifuges to speed up the enrichment of uranium used to fuel power plants.
According to the BBC, low-enriched uranium with a concentration of three to five percent is used to produce fuel for nuclear plants.
Weapons-grade uranium is at least 90% enriched.
Reuters reports that under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iran kept limited quantities of first-generation centrifuges at two nuclear power plants.
A more advanced centrifuge would allow for faster uranium enrichment for a potential nuclear bomb.
After the U.S. withdrew from the deal last year, it imposed sanctions against Iran that slashed the country's crude oil sales by about 80 percent.
In response, Iran violated two key nuclear commitments in July — breaching the 600-pound limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile and exceeding the cap on the purity of its uranium stocks.
Rouhani had threatened to take further measures by September 5 unless France and the other European signatories of the nuclear accord did more to protect Iran from the sanctions.
France had proposed a $15-billion credit line to finance Tehran's oil sales if it would return to compliance with the 2015 deal.
But the plan was rebuffed by the U.S., which has refused to ease economic sanctions, and even imposed new ones to target Iranian oil smuggling.
According to state TV, Rouhani said the new measures will be "peaceful, under surveillance of the U.N.
Nuclear watchdog." It is also reversible if the European signatories keep their promises.