Iran is enriching uranium in greater quantity and purity of that agreed in the 2015 nuclear agreement, while it is expanding other atomic capacities, the IAEA warned on Tuesday.
In its most recent report on Iran, the UN nuclear agency states that the Islamic Republic currently has 2,967.8 kilos of enriched uranium (10 times more than agreed), in a small part (17.6 kilos) with a purity up to 20%.
On the other hand, IAEA inspectors warn that Iran the number of newer centrifuges has increased and fast to produce enriched uranium, a material that has civil but also military use to make bombs.
Specifically, the Iranians have installed cascades with 348 centrifuges of the IR-2m type, apart from the 5,060 machines of the IR1 type authorized by the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as JCPOA, in its acronym in English.
Furthermore, Iranian engineers have moved on with the preparations to install even more advanced and faster centrifuges, of the type IR4 and IR6.
Approximate location of nuclear sites, reactors and uranium mines in Iran. AFP
Enriched uranium production is at the center of the dispute nuclear with Iran.
The JCPOA allows to enrich up to 3.67%, but Iran began in 2019 to reach a purity above that level and since the end of last year it has already reached close to 20%, an important step to reach the 80% or 90% necessary for an atomic bomb.
The last report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was issued two days after agreeing with Iran an interim agreement, with more limited verifications, over the next three months.
This change, negotiated by the IAEA director general, the Argentine Rafael Grossi, last weekend in Tehran, it was necessary before the entry into force of a law adopted by the Iranian Parliament which suspends a large part of international inspections and requires the annual production of 120 kilos of 20% uranium.
Iran wants to put pressure on the new US Administration so that he lifts his sanctions, especially the oil embargo, before joining the JCPOA.
US President Joe Biden wants to return to the JCPOA, abandoned by his predecessor, Donald Trump, although he demands that Iran comply again all the rules of the pact.
That treaty, signed by Iran and then six great powers (the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany) substantially limited the Iranian nuclear program to prevent the Islamic Republic from taking over atomic bombs.
In return, international sanctions against Iran were lifted, although Trump reimposed punitive measures after exiting the pact in May 2018.
The JCPOA’s goal is to keep Iran at least 12 months to get enough fissile material for a bomb.
Source: EFE and AFP