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IAEA Says Can’t Be Sure Iran Nuclear Program Is Strictly Peaceful

The International Atomic Energy Agency says it is “not in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.” The comment came in a report issued by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog group issued on Wednesday and seen by the French news agency AFP.

According to the report, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi has been “increasingly concerned that Iran has not engaged with the agency on the outstanding safeguards issues during this reporting period and, therefore, that there has been no progress toward resolving them,” apparently referring to the traces of nuclear material found at three undeclared nuclear sites in the Islamic Republic for which the IAEA is attempting to get explanations from Tehran.

Iran has demanded that the IAEA probe into the undeclared sites be closed as a condition for signing on to an updated nuclear agreement with the world powers.

A second IAEA report released on Wednesday said that Iran has a stockpile of enriched uranium that is over 19 times the limit that appears in the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It has the capability to further enrich the stockpile and have enough for a nuclear bomb in three to four weeks, according to the report, though building a bomb capable of carrying the enriched material will take longer to construct.