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Iran to begin fueling centrifuges at underground plant on Wednesday

Iran announces it will begin enriching uranium at its underground Fordo nuclear site tomorrow.

Earlier in the day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic is restarting the Fordo facility, but refrained from providing additional details.

In a press conference, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) says the country will begin pumping uranium gas — uranium hexafluoride, or UF6 — into Fordo’s centrifuges starting tomorrow.

A satellite image of Iran's Fordo uranium enrichment facility (photo credit: AP/DigitalGlobe)
A satellite image of Iran’s Fordo uranium enrichment facility. (AP/DigitalGlobe)

“After President Hassan Rouhani’s statement and the order to the [Atomic Energy Organization of Iran] to commence gas injection in Fordow, an official letter has been sent to the IAEA announcing that the injection of UF6 gas to centrifuges in Fordow will commence tomorrow, and the [IAEA] was requested to send its inspectors to monitor the process,” Iran’s permanent mission in Vienna said in a statement.

This is widely seen as a provocative move by Iran, as it engages in high stakes brinkmanship with the United States over its nuclear program.

— Judah Ari Gross

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