Iran fails to explain traces of uranium found at multiple sites – IAEA report
Iran failed to explain traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites, a UN nuclear watchdog report showed on Monday, possibly sparking yet another diplomatic clash between Tehran and the West that could derail broader nuclear negotiations.
Three months ago, Britain, France and Germany scrapped a US-backed plan to have the Board of Governors of 35 countries at the International Atomic Energy Agency blame the Iran for not having fully explained the origin of the particles; the three backed off as IAEA chief Rafael Grossi announced new talks with Iran. Read more
“After many months, Iran has failed to provide the necessary explanation for the presence of particles of nuclear material in one of the three locations where the Agency carried out additional accesses (inspections),” said a Grossi’s report to member states seen by Reuters.
It will now be up to the three European powers to decide whether or not to relaunch their pressure for a resolution criticizing Iran, which could undermine broader negotiations to relaunch the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in talks currently underway in Iran. Vienna. Grossi had hoped to report on progress before the board meets again next week. Read more
“The Director General is concerned that the technical discussions between the Agency and Iran have not yielded the expected results,” the report said.
“The lack of progress in clarifying the Agency’s questions regarding the accuracy and completeness of Iran’s guarantee statements seriously affects the Agency’s ability to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of the program. Iranian nuclear power, ”he added.
In a separate quarterly report also sent to member states on Monday and seen by Reuters, the agency gave an indication of damage to Iran’s production of enriched uranium from an explosion and a power cut at its Natanz site on the month. last that Tehran imputed to Israel. . Read more
Iran’s quarterly increase in its enriched uranium stockpile was the smallest since August 2019 at just 273 kg, bringing the total to 3,241 kg, according to an IAEA estimate. He was unable to fully verify the stock because Iran downgraded its cooperation.
That total is several times the limit of 202.8 kg set by the nuclear deal, but still well below the more than six tonnes Iran had before the deal.
DAMAGE TO NATANZ
At Iran’s main enrichment plant, which is underground at Natanz, the agency verified on May 24 that 20 cascades, or clusters, of different types of centrifuges were fed with uranium hexafluoride raw material for enrichment. A senior diplomat said that before the explosion that figure was 35-37.
After Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 under the leadership of President Donald Trump and reimposed crippling economic sanctions against Tehran, Iran began to breach the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear activities from 2019.
One of its most recent violations, enriching uranium to 60%, a big step towards weapons quality from the 20% it had previously achieved and the 3.67% limit of the deal , continued. The IAEA estimated that Iran had produced 2.4 kg of uranium enriched to this level and 62.8 kg of uranium enriched up to 20%.
Iran’s production of experimental quantities of uranium metal, which is banned by the agreement and has sparked protests from Western powers over its potential use in the nucleus of nuclear weapons, also continued. . Iran produced 2.42 kg, the IAEA reported, up from 3.6 grams three months ago.
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