IAEA Confidential Report: Iran Increases Enriched Uranium Stockpile

(MENAFN- Khaama Press) The International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA) has released a confidential report stating that Iran has increased its uranium enrichment levels to the brink of potential weapon-grade use.

According to this report, Iran has not reconsidered its decision to restrict access to and monitoring by several experienced IAEA inspectors.

The confidential report by the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, seen by the Associated Press, reveals that Iran currently possesses over 142 kilograms of uranium enriched to 60%. This marks a significant increase of more than 20 kilograms compared to the agency's previous report in February of this year.

Uranium enriched to 60% purity can be quickly converted through a few short steps into 90% purity uranium, which is suitable for nuclear weapons.

The report also states that Iran's total stock of enriched uranium now exceeds 6201 kilograms, reflecting an increase of 675.8 kilograms from the previous IAEA report.

Iran claims that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. However, Rafael Grossi, the head of the IAEA, has warned that Iran has uranium enriched to near-weapon levels, sufficient to make“several nuclear bombs” if it chooses to do so.

Grossi has also explicitly stated that his agency cannot guarantee that Tehran does not possess a hidden set of centrifuges for enrichment.

The IAEA noted that no progress has been made in implementing Iran's joint statement with the agency since March of last year.

Meanwhile, the nuclear deal between Iran and the US, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was finalized in July 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group, which includes the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany. The JCPOA aimed to ensure that Iran's nuclear program would be exclusively peaceful in exchange for lifting economic sanctions that had severely affected Iran's economy.

The agreement mandated that Iran reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium, limit its number of centrifuges, and allow IAEA inspectors to monitor its nuclear facilities. In return, international sanctions on Iran were lifted, allowing it to access global markets and its frozen assets abroad.

In May 2018, the US, under President Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, citing concerns that the deal did not sufficiently prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and criticizing Iran's ballistic missile program and regional activities. Following the withdrawal, the US reimposed sanctions on Iran, which significantly impacted its economy.

In response, Iran gradually reduced its compliance with the JCPOA terms, increasing its uranium enrichment levels and stockpiles beyond the limits set by the agreement.

Efforts to revive the JCPOA have been ongoing, with negotiations taking place intermittently. The current status of the deal remains uncertain, with significant geopolitical and diplomatic challenges to its full reinstatement.

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