IR-5 Centrifuge Issue Dismissed as Media Hype

IR-5 Centrifuge Issue Dismissed as Media Hype   IR-5 Centrifuge Issue Dismissed as Media Hype

The foreign ministry spokesperson has dismissed the issue raised over Iran's feeding of uranium gas into an advanced centrifuge as "media hype", which is not of high importance.  

Marzieh Afkham said in a press release late on Tuesday that the tests of the IR-5 centrifuge, which is one of the ordinary machines of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), had started before Iran and the major powers reached an interim nuclear deal in Geneva last November and continued after the accord came into force.

She said the centrifuge was tested one more time in the Iranian calendar month of Farvardin (March 21 to April 20) according to the schedule of the AEOI.

She added that testing on centrifuge machines will be conducted and stopped depending on the need.

Elsewhere, Afkham said the reports of the International Atomic Energy Organization over the past seven months have confirmed that Iran has met commitments under the Geneva agreement.

The United States said on Monday the issue over the IR-5 centrifuge had been resolved.   

Asked about the matter, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that Iran had agreed to cease injecting the gas into the IR-5 centrifuge.

"We raised that issue with Iran as soon as the IAEA reported it, and it was resolved immediately," Reuters quoted Psaki as saying. "The Iranians have confirmed that they will not continue that activity as cited in the IAEA report, so it's been resolved."

The UN nuclear agency issued a report about Iran to its members on Friday saying that since its previous report in September Iran had intermittently fed natural uranium gas into a so-called IR-5 centrifuge.

The IR-5 is one of several new centrifuge models that Iran has been seeking to develop to replace the IR-1 centrifuge that it now uses to produce refined uranium.  

The Institute for Science and International Security, a US think tank that closely tracks Iran's nuclear program, issued an analysis claiming, "Iran may have violated (the interim accord) by starting to feed into one of its advanced centrifuges, namely the IR-5."

But the Washington-based Arms Control Association, a research and advocacy group, said it saw no violation, adding, "No enriched uranium is being withdrawn from the machine."

In response to the US think tank's claim, AEOI spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi said Tehran had made no commitment to halt its nuclear research and development program under the Geneva accord.