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Iran uranium supply '10 times limit' set in nuclear deal

September 4, 2020

The UN's atomic watchdog has said Tehran continues to violate limitations set in the 2015 landmark deal signed by world powers. The finding comes after Iran allowed the agency to inspect one of its sites.

An Iranian technician works at the Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan, Iran in February 2007
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/V. Salemi,

Iran continues to increase its stockpile of enriched uranium in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal, but has started allowing access to sites where Tehran was suspected of having stored or used undeclared nuclear material, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Friday.

According to the UN atomic watchdog, Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium now stands at more than ten times the limit set down in the nuclear deal.

The limit was set at 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of enriched uranium in a particular compound form, which is the equivalent of 202.8 kg of uranium. 

Read more:Is Iran using the coronavirus crisis to bolster its nuclear program?

The IAEA reported in a confidential document distributed to member countries and seen by several news outlets that Iran as of August 25 had stockpiled 2,105.4 kilograms (2.32 tons) of low-enriched uranium, up from 1,571.6 kilograms (1.73 tons) last reported on May 20.

Iran signed the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, in 2015 with the US,  Germany, France, the UK, China and Russia. 

The increase follows Washington's withdrawal from the deal in 2018 and the reimposition of sanctions against Tehran.

Tehran allows inspection 

After a prolonged standoff, Iran authorized the IAEA to inspect one of the two sites agreed last week.

The agency took environmental samples to identify any traces of nuclear material that may have been present. 

Read more: UN Security Council rejects US demand to 'snapback' sanctions on Iran

According to the IAEA, Tehran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of up to 4.5%, higher than the 3.67% allowed under the deal. 

The watchdog noted, however, that Iran's stockpile remains far below the many tons of enriched uranium Iran had amassed before the 2015 deal and that its stockpile of heavy water had decreased and is now back within the JCPOA limits. 

mvb/mm (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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