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UN atomic watchdog: Iran's centrifuge use increases

The UN atomic watchdog said on Friday that Iran remains within the boundaries of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, however, red-flagged the increasing production of low-enriched uranium (LEU) and heavy water, the AP reports.

The backdrop: Iran is at risk of breaking the nuclear deal if it exceeds LEU stockpile restrictions outlined in the accord. Last month, Iran threatened to increase its uranium enrichment if it couldn't shield itself from U.S. sanctions.

  • Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesperson for Iran’s nuclear agency, said earlier this month that the increase in LEU production does not mean that Iran has increased the number of centrifuges in use, another requirement of the deal.

The big picture: Since President Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal a year ago, the administration has been pursuing harsh sanctions and declared that the pressure will only increase until Iran’s regime changes course, or collapses.

Go deeper: Iran quadruples production rate of low-enriched uranium

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include new developments reported by AP. The UN watchdog is now raising questions about whether Iran is complying with key provisions to limit the nation's use of advanced centrifuges.