Media coverage of the addition of the last of 2,800 centrifuges added to Fordow enrichment facility over the past year played up the idea that the centrifuges could become operational at any time. "They can be started any day," a "senior diplomat" from an unnamed country was quoted by Reuters as saying.
The fact that half of those centrifuges have not been put into operation was treated as a mystery. The Los Angeles Times said, "For unknown reasons, Iran has not begun feeding uranium hexafluoride gas into more than half of the machines." None of the stories mentioned the obvious connection between Iran's continuing to add centrifuges but not putting them into operation and its maneuvering for a deal with the United States.
Iran has been suggesting both publicly and privately throughout 2012 that it is open to an agreement under which it would halt all 20-percent enrichment and agree to other constraints on its enrichment program in return for relief from harsh economic sanctions now levied on the Iranian economy.
Iranian strategists evidently view the unused enrichment capacity at Fordow facility as an incentive for the United States and the P5+1 to seek such an agreement.