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Iran's enriched uranium stockpile exceeds 2015 accord limit, reveals IAEA report; now stands at 6,201.3 kgs

The UN nuclear watchdog revealed on Monday that Iran's enriched uranium stockpile has surpassed the limit set in the 2015 agreement between Tehran and world powers by more than 30 times.

Iran enriched uranium stockpile exceeds 2015 accord limit, reveals IAEA report; now stands at 6,201.3 kgs snt
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First Published May 27, 2024, 9:38 PM IST

The UN nuclear watchdog revealed on Monday that Iran's enriched uranium stockpile has surpassed the limit set in the 2015 agreement between Tehran and world powers by more than 30 times.

According to the report, obtained by several new agencies, Iran's inventory now includes 142.1 kilograms (313.2 pounds) of uranium enriched up to 60% purity, marking an increase of 20.6 kilograms (45.4 pounds) since the previous report in February. Uranium enriched to 60% purity is only a small technical step away from reaching the levels required for weapons, which is typically 90% purity.

The report also details that Iran's total stockpile of enriched uranium has reached 6201.3 kilograms (13671.5 pounds), reflecting a rise of 675.8 kilograms (1489.8 pounds) since the last report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Additionally, the IAEA report notes that Tehran has not reversed its decision, made in September 2023, to block the most experienced nuclear inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program. However, the agency anticipates Iran to reconsider this stance within the ongoing discussions between Iran and the Agency.

Furthermore, the IAEA disclosed that the recent tragic deaths of Iran's President and Foreign Minister in a helicopter crash have temporarily halted the UN nuclear watchdog's dialogue with Tehran regarding enhancing cooperation.

Also read: Iran's acting President Mokhber addresses new parliament in first public speech after Raisi's death

The latest report from the IAEA revealed that Iran proposed, in a letter dated May 21, to resume discussions regarding cooperation between the IAEA and Iran in Tehran, specifying that the timing would be mutually agreed upon.

Despite assertions from Iran that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the IAEA, has issued warnings. He highlighted that Iran possesses sufficient uranium enriched to levels close to those needed for nuclear weapons, enough to potentially produce "several" such bombs should it opt to do so. Grossi has also acknowledged the agency's inability to guarantee that none of Iran's centrifuges have been diverted for clandestine enrichment purposes.

Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog are continuing in talks over how to carry out a pact that was made last year to increase the number of inspections of the country's rapidly developing nuclear programme.

Years after Tehran's nuclear agreement with international powers collapsed and amid broader tensions in the Middle East over the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the IAEA's acknowledgement demonstrates the difficulties his inspectors still confront.

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