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Iran Installs Advanced IR-2m Centrifuges In Natanz Facility

Iran has begun to install advanced IR-2m centrifuges in the country’s Natanz facility, after declaring its intention to do so weeks ago. The technology is an upgrade from the current generation of centrifuges that the Islamic republic employs in the facility and will increase the pace and efficiency of nuclear enrichment by orders of magnitude. Iran’s ability to conduct accelerated enrichment, in turn, severely weakens a core assumption behind analysis urging extended negotiations with the regime. Some diplomats have suggested that Iran can be allowed to stall for time as long as the West has the ability to detect any decision the regime might make to rush across the finish line sufficiently early enough to take action. Shortening the amount of time Iran requires to enrich their nuclear material to a weapons-grade level shortens the amount of time the West would have to intervene, complicating analysis that a successful intervention would be possible. On Thursday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon became the latest diplomat to publicly worry that Iran was using talks as a cover to acquire nuclear weapons.