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UN watchdog: Iran complying with nuclear deal

The UN atomic watchdog has said Iran is complying with the nuclear deal reached with international powers. The IAEA also said verification had continued in line with the agreement.

Iran is complying with the nuclear deal reached with international powers in 2015, the UN atomic watchdog said in its latest quarterly report on Friday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that Iran's stock of low-enriched uranium was 101.7 kilograms (225 pounds), far below the 300 kilograms limited by the deal. 

Low-enriched uranium can be used for nuclear power and other peaceful purposes, but when further enriched can be used to make a nuclear weapon.

The United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia reached the accord with Iran in 2015. In exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear program punishing international sanctions against Iran were dropped. Tehran says it never intended to create nuclear weapons.

The IAEA report also said that Iran was complying with the 130-ton limit on so-called heavy water, at 124.2 tons, and has not enriched uranium above a 3.67 percent limit.

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In its November report, the UN watchdog said Iran's stockpile had slightly exceeded the limit, prompting criticism from the Obama administration, which said the deal specified excess stock must be delivered to a foreign buyer.

Iran then sent 11 kilograms to Oman, a country that has acted as a mediator between Tehran and the West, in anticipation it would be sold to a buyer.

Plutonium can be extracted from fuel rods used in heavy water reactors to make nuclear weapons.

"Iran has not conducted any uranium enrichment or related research and development activities" at its Fordo nuclear plant, the IAEA added.

The UN watchdog also said verification has continued in line with the agreement.

The report is the first issued since Donald Trump took over the White House. Trump has criticized the accord as the "worst deal ever negotiated."

Iran committed to among other things cutting by two-thirds its uranium centrifuges, dramatically reducing its stockpile of uranium and removing the core of the Arak reactor.

cw/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)

 

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