02/20/2023 09:00 (act. 02/20/2023 09:10)
Atomic Energy Agency in talks with Tehran ©APA/AFP
Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have found uranium in Iran with a purity just below the level needed to build a nuclear bomb. The uranium has been enriched to 84%, according to Bloomberg. Uranium enriched to about 90 percent is needed for atomic bombs. Iran denies it. The Islamic Republic has not enriched uranium with a purity greater than 60%, according to the national atomic energy agency.
The IAEA would need to determine whether Iran intentionally produced the material or whether the concentration was the result of unintentional accumulation. The Vienna-based IAEA wrote on Twitter late on Sunday that it was aware of such reports. Authorities did not elaborate on the allegations. The organization is in talks with Iran about the “results of recent verification activities”.
In the currently suspended international nuclear deal with Iran, a 3.67% limit on uranium enrichment was agreed in Vienna in 2015. Tehran has recently been known to be producing uranium enriched to 60%, which is considerably more than than provided for in the nuclear deal.
Negotiations to resume the international nuclear deal with Iran, which began in April 2021, have been stalled for months. The deal was intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that the country does not build nuclear weapons. It was negotiated by the US, China, Russia, Germany, France, Great Britain and Iran.
However, under then-US President Donald Trump, the US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and imposed new sanctions on Tehran. As a result, Iran also gradually withdrew its obligations and restricted inspections of its facilities by the IAEA.