On July 18, 2018, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s nuclear agency announced that an Iranian factory has started producing rotors for up to 60 centrifuges per day in order to prepare to increase the uranium enrichment capacity. The announcement of head of Nuclear Energy Organization of Iran came a month after Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered nuclear agencies to be ready to increase the uranium enrichment capacity.
Salehi said, “Instead of building this factory in the next seven to eight years, we built it during the negotiations but did not start it.” He added, “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.”
Salehi also told state TV on Wednesday that Iran has imported 400 tons of uranium after nuclear deal was signed in 2015, bringing its stockpile to between 900-950 tons up from 500 tons. This stock is enough for Iran’s longtime goal of 1,90,000 centrifuge machines to enrich uranium.
Last month, Salehi announced that Iran has started work on Infrastructure to build advance centrifuge for uranium enrichment. Under the nuclear accord Iran was limited to enrich the uranium to 3.67 percent, enough to use in nuclear power plants but much lower than the 90 percent needed for a nuclear weapon.
Iran vowed to increase the uranium enrichment capacity after US pulled out of landmark Iran Nuclear deal in May 2018.