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Iran’s Enriched Uranium Stockpile 5 Times Larger than Allowed by Deal
Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency join Iranian nuclear technicians in January 2014 to disconnect enrichment equipment at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. (Kazem Ghane/AFP via Getty Images)

Iran’s Enriched Uranium Stockpile 5 Times Larger than Allowed by Deal

According to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium is five times higher than the limit set by the 2015 multilateral deal aimed at preventing it from producing a nuclear weapon. The IAEA pegged Tehran’s supply as of February 19 at 1,510 kilograms, which some analysts consider ample to produce a nuclear bomb. The Islamic Republic would, however, need to further enrich its stockpile from a current known maximum purity of 4.5% to 90%, which is weapons-grade. Notably, the IAEA made clear that Iran could be even closer to “breakout” capacity, given that inspectors have been denied access to at least two controversial locations, and their questions regarding a third being insufficiently addressed. The latter installation is believed to be the warehouse in Tehran from which Israeli Mossad agents stole a massive archive of documents allegedly proving that Iran had, despite repeated denials, conducted military tests consistent with the aim of producing nuclear weapons. “The fact that we found traces [of uranium at the site] is very important. That means there is the possibility of nuclear activities and material that are not under international supervision and about which we know not the origin or the intent,” the new head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, was quoted by media as saying Tuesday. The IAEA report comes a week after officials from the parties to the nuclear agreement met to discuss the recent triggering by Britain, France and Germany of the accord’s dispute-resolution mechanism in response to violations by Tehran. Russia and China are the two other countries that remain committed to the pact, from which President Donald Trump withdrew the US in May 2018 and thereafter re-imposed economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

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