Iran is building advanced new centrifuges to enrich uranium

China blames US for Iran nuclear tensions

The 2015 nuclear deal, which Netanyahu opposed, imposed tight restrictions on Iran's atomic programme in exchange for sanctions relief, and was based on drawing a line under Iran's past activities.

A centrifuge is a device that enriches uranium by rapidly spinning uranium hexafluoride gas.

He was also expected to shed more light on a report by the Reuters news agency that IAEA inspectors had discovered trace amounts of uranium at a facility in Tehran, flagged by Israel previous year as a "secret atomic warehouse", which Iran has thus far not explained.

Also on Monday, China - which along with France, Germany, Britain and Russian Federation is also a signatory to the JCPOA - called on the U.S. to "give up its wrong approach such as unilateral sanctions and extreme pressure against Iran". Under the atomic accord, Iran's now limited to operating 5,060 older IR-1 centrifuges.

The accord took effect in January 2016 and was supposed to terminate all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran all at once, but its implementation was hampered by the USA policies and its eventual withdrawal from the deal.

"I also stressed the need for Iran to respond promptly to agency questions related to the completeness of Iran's safeguards declarations", Feruta said.

"I think that was a message very well understood", he said of his meetings with officials including Iran's foreign minister and its nuclear energy chief.

The Iranian diplomat also said that during the visit, cooperation between Iran and the IAEA in three fields of the implementation of the JCPOA safeguards, the Additional Protocol, and Safeguards Agreement were reviewed.

After the report, China blamed the United States for the situation, and called for world powers to stick to the 2015 deal with Tehran. Europe failed to do that before a deadline set by Tehran last Friday, leading to the latest breach by Iran of the nuclear deal's terms.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Rainer Breul told reporters that Berlin supports the French president's efforts to resume talks and de-escalate the situation. The new wrinkle confirmed in the Reuters report is that the radioactive material was uranium, the key ingredient in developing nuclear bombs.

He reiterated that Germany considers Iran's centrifuge plans "a step in the wrong direction".

"IAEA Acting Director General going to Iran just as IAEA informs its Board that #Iran may be concealing nuclear material and/or activities", US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Twitter on Saturday.

The report published on Sunday said one of the diplomatic sources, however, acknowledged that the uranium traces were not highly enriched, meaning they were not purified to a level anywhere close to that needed for weapons.

The United States will continue to impose sanctions on whoever purchases Iran's oil or conducts business with Iran's Revolutionary Guards and no oil waivers will be re-issued, a USA official said on Sunday (8 September).

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