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Iran's enriched uranium stockpile 10 times limit: Nuclear watchdog IAEA

Iran now has more than 10 times the amount of enriched uranium permitted under an international agreement, the UN's nuclear watchdog said

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Iran | Nuclear | uranium

IANS  |  Tehran 

uranium
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now has more than 10 times the amount of enriched permitted under an agreement, the UN's watchdog said.

The Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran's enriched stockpile had reached 2,105kg (4,640lb) - well above the 300kg agreed in 2015, the BBC reported.

insists its programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes.

It comes after gave IAEA inspectors access to one of two suspected former sites.

The agency said it would take samples at the second site later this month.

Last year, Iran began deliberately and publicly reneging on commitments it had made under the nuclear accord, signed in 2015 by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US.

This included the production of more enriched than it was allowed - although only at enrichment levels far below that required for use in atomic weapons.

To manufacture a nuclear weapon, Iran would need to produce 1,050kg of 3.67 per cent enriched uranium, but would then need to further enrich that to 90% or more, according to US-based advocacy group the Arms Control Association.

Low-enriched uranium - which has a concentration of between 3 per cent and 5 per cent of the fissile isotope U-235 - can be used to produce fuel for power plants. Weapons-grade uranium is 90 per cent enriched or more.

Experts say the enrichment process could take a long time, if Tehran chose to do so.

Last week, Iran said it had agreed "in good faith" to let weapons inspectors access sites to resolve outstanding issues related to nuclear safeguards.

The IAEA had criticised Iran for not answering its questions about possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at the two locations, and denying it access.

In the latest statement, the global watchdog said Iran had "provided agency inspectors access to the location to take environmental samples".

"The samples will be analysed by laboratories that are part of the agency's network," it added.

Iran stopped abiding by a number of commitments last year in retaliation against US sanctions reinstated by President Donald Trump when he abandoned the deal.

--IANS

rt/

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sat, September 05 2020. 09:00 IST
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