Iran will start injecting uranium gas into hundreds of centrifuges at its Fordow facility in the latest step away from the crumbling nuclear deal with world powers since the United States withdrew from the landmark accord last year.
In a televised statement on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the 1,044 machines at the plant will be injected with the uranium gas starting on Wednesday.
“Gas will be injected into centrifuges at Fordow as part of part of our fourth step to reduce our nuclear commitments to the deal,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.
The move further complicates the chances of saving the nuclear deal, which European powers have called on Iran to respect.
“The announcement by Iran … goes against the Vienna agreement, which strictly limits activities in this area,” French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said.
UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab denounced Tehran’s move on Tuesday as a threat to Britain’s national security.
“Iran’s latest actions clearly contravene the deal and pose a risk to our national security,” Raab said.
“We want to find a way forward through constructive international dialogue but Iran needs to stand by the commitments it made and urgently return to full compliance.”