Iran restarts production of advanced parts for nuclear program: report

Iran has reportedly resumed production of equipment used for the development of nuclear weapons as talks between the U.S. and the Middle Eastern country remain stalled.

Iran has begun developing centrifuges, which can enrich uranium up to 90 percent purity to be used for nuclear weapon development, at its plant in Karaj, west of Tehran, diplomats told The Wall Street Journal.

The country may have constructed parts to build up to 170 advanced centrifuges, adding to what is believed to be an arsenal of 1,000 centrifuges stored in an underground facility.

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The Karaj plant was bombed in June during a raid Iran blamed on Israel. The United Nations International Atomic Energy Commission has been denied access to the facility and other places in Iran storing uranium material since February.

The Obama-era deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, limited Iran's nuclear production in return for sanctions relief. But former President TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE pulled out of it in 2018, calling it a "defective" deal and arguing the country would still develop weapons.

The Trump administration also reimposed economic sanctions on Iran in November 2018. 

Biden's negotiations with Iran have faltered since the election of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in June. And a top Iranian official said in November that talks to rejoin the 2015 pact were doomed without "guarantees" from the Biden administration.

However, talks to restart those negotiations will reportedly be held in Vienna later this month, involving the U.S. and Iran along with the United Kingdom, China, France, Germany and Russia.