Business & Economy

Iran steps up production of enriched uranium, says IAEA

Vienna, Sep 7 (EFE).- Iran has enriched some 55.6 kilograms of uranium to a purity level of up to 60% over the past three months, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said Wednesday.

A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium had increased by 131.6 kilograms between May and August, to reach a total of 3,940.9 kilograms, which is well above the limits set up by the 2015 nuclear deal.

The IAEA stressed that Tehran’s decision to shut down dozens of surveillance cameras would hamper the organization’s ability to provide assurances about the peaceful nature of the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic.

Iran is restricting IAEA inspectors from accessing the nuclear facilities in its territory, while the production of fissionable material continues to grow for civil as well as military purposes.

In June, Iran decided to disconnect some 40 cameras monitoring its nuclear sites in response to an IAEA resolution criticizing the country for failing to cooperate.

The nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), stipulates that Iran is only allowed to produce up to 300 kilograms of enriched uranium in a gaseous form.

Iran, which has not fulfilled its obligations under the agreement since 2019, justified the production of uranium enriched up to 60% for medical purposes.

For 16 months, Iran and the world powers have negotiated to finalize an agreement on reviving the landmark pact with Tehran but to no avail so far.

In August, the European Union presented a final proposal to rekindle the agreement, to which Iran and the United States have submitted their remarks.

Tehran says that IAEA safeguard investigations must be closed before agreeing to return to the deal.

In the IAEA report, the inspectors pointed out that they continue to receive “technically credible explanations” for the presence of uranium particles in three undeclared sites.

Rafael Grossi, the IAEA chief, expressed his growing concern over Iran’s non-cooperation in clarifying these doubts.

For this reason, the IAEA cannot confirm that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful. EFE


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