United Nations atomic watchdog confirms Iran installing advanced centrifuges

The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna Austria

The news comes as Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called on Cornel Feruta, acting chief of International Atomic Energy Agency and his inspectors "to observe the principles of professional work, maintain confidentiality of activities, and keep doing its duties impartially".

But in response to United States sanctions imposed since Washington withdrew from the deal in May previous year, Iran has been breaching the limits it imposed on its atomic activities step by step.

Earlier on Monday, China - a signatory to the JCPOA along with France, Germany, Britain and Russian Federation - called on the USA to "give up its wrong approach such as unilateral sanctions and extreme pressure against Iran".

On Saturday, Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation said it had taken another step by starting up 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 advanced centrifuges, the step now confirmed by the IAEA.

The long-signaled move marks Iran's third breach of the global deal it signed in 2015, under which it agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

On Friday Iran's Atomic Energy Authority upped the stakes further by saying it had started lifting restrictions imposed on its nuclear research by the 2015 deal.

Those traces were, however, of uranium, the diplomats said - the same element Iran is enriching and one of only two fissile elements with which one can make the core of a nuclear bomb.

Prior to his speech to the UN General Assembly a year ago, the prime minister revealed the results of a spectacular Mossad operation that ended with the capture of an entire cache of secret Iranian nuclear data files that were stored at a secret facility in Shirobad.

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Under the atomic accord, Iran has been limited to operating 5,060 older-model IR-1 centrifuges.

Israeli intelligence agents translated the files and provided the information to world powers in order to enlighten and warn them about the violations of the nuclear deal that Iran had been carrying out, along with the highly advanced nuclear technology that had already taken place prior to the JCPOA negotiations that Iran had lied about in the first place.

Iran is trying to pressure Europe to find a way to ease the economic toll of the sanctions.

"It is important to advance our interactions and, therefore, I also stressed the need for Iran to respond promptly to Agency questions related to the completeness of Iran's safeguards declarations".

"We have made it very clear that the role of the agency is to report the facts to members of the JCPOA and also the board", Feruta told reporters in Vienna.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday that the U.S. "should abandon wrong practices such as unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure on Iran".

French President Emmanuel Macron has been talking both to Washington and Tehran about a proposal to create a $15 billion line of credit for Iran to entice it to remain in the nuclear deal.

"We call on Iran to meet its commitments under the JCPOA and to return to them", Breul said.

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