IR8s tubes
© AFP/HO/Atomic Energy Organization of Iran
Atomic enrichment facilities at Iranian Nataz nuclear power plant
The Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) has confirmed that it prevented an inspector from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from getting access to the premises of the Natanz uranium enrichment plant last week. "Last week Iran did not allow the entrance of one of the IAEA's inspectors to the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz", the AEOI said.

According to the Iranian nuclear organisation, the AEOI informed the IAEA that the security equipment at the facility's entrance had shown the presence of suspicious materials among the inspector's belongings and that the permission to conduct an inspection in the Natanz plant had been revoked.

The statement comes after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on 5 October, that Tehran would start injecting gas into centrifuges at the Fordow facility, marking the fourth time Iran would step away from its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). On the same day, Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said Tehran would enrich uranium up to 5 percent at Fordow.

Meanwhile, the inspector left Iran for Vienna. The fourth round of Tehran shedding its commitments is set to begin on 6 November.

The incident occurred last week when a female IAEA inspector was reportedly not allowed to inspect the plant in Natanz and was even briefly held.

On 8 May, the first anniversary of the United States' unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran announced a gradual reduction of its JCPOA obligations. Tehran then announced that it would start abandoning some parts of its nuclear obligations every 60 days unless European signatories to the deal ensured Iran's interests amid Washington's reinstated sanctions.