An agreement on the scope of Iran’s future enrichment program has become a major issue of contention. Iran has installed some 19,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium, with some 10,000 in full operation. It wants to increase this number to at least 50,000, arguing that it needs the high numbers to produce enough fuel for Bushehr nuclear power reactor, for which the Russians have already provided the fuel for the next 10 years and are committed to continue doing so
The West wants to keep the number of centrifuges to only few thousands to prevent a rapid breakout capability by Iran. Fabius told the LA Times that the numbers should be “some hundreds” and not “hundreds of thousands,” as he says the Iranians want. That’s a wide gap to overcome before the 20 July expiration of the interim agreement, JPOA.
UPDATE: Iran’s deputy foreign minister and senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi told reporters today after holding talks with his French counterpart in Geneva that their talks were “helpful” and the two sides exchanged their views on the nuclear issues in a “positive atmosphere.” (IRNA)