Fordow to Enrich to 60%

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Iran intends to begin enriching uranium to 60% U-235 at its Fordow centrifuge enrichment plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) revealed in a Nov. 22 report to the agency's Board of Governors. Tehran signaled this intention in a Nov. 17 letter to the agency; the initiative will involve using two existing interconnected IR-6 cascades to take 5% enriched material up to 60% U-235, while installing 14 additional IR-6 cascades to enrich uranium to either 5% or 20%. The escalatory move comes a year and a half after Iran first began enriching uranium to 60% at the Natanz centrifuge enrichment plant, on Apr. 17, 2021. Tehran said it was responding to the Nov. 17 IAEA Board of Governors resolution expressing "profound concern" about Iran's cooperation with the agency under its comprehensive safeguards agreement. All talk of restarting the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, meanwhile, appears frozen as Washington waits to see how domestic protests across Iran develop.

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