The U.N. atomic watchdog reported Friday that Iran remains in violation of limitations set by the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.
In a confidential quarterly report distributed to member states and seen by The Associated Press, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium still exceeds the amount allowed by the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
It also said Iran continues to enrich uranium up to 4.5%, above the 3.67% allowed.
The violations were announced by Iran, and confirmed by the IAEA last month, and are meant to put pressure on the signatories to the JCPOA to provide more economic incentives.
Enriched uranium at the 3.67% level is enough for peaceful pursuits but is far below weapons-grade levels of 90%. At the 4.5% level, it is enough to help power Iran’s Bushehr reactor, the country’s only nuclear power plant.
The nuclear deal is meant to keep Tehran from building atomic weapons in exchange for economic relief. It has been complicated by the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the deal last year and Washington’s increased sanctions, which have been taking a toll on the Iranian economy.
That has left the other signatories — Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China — struggling to come up with enough incentives to keep Iran in the deal.
So far, the major powers in the JCPOA have expressed concern about Tehran’s violations and urged the country to return to the limitations set in the agreement but haven’t taken further action.
In Friday’s report, the IAEA said that Iran has continued to permit its inspectors to monitor its nuclear facilities and has also remained within limitations set on its stockpiles of heavy water.
In its previous quarterly report, it noted that Iran had installed “up to 33” more advanced IR-6 centrifuges, used to enrich uranium and that 10 had been tested.
Under terms of the nuclear deal, Iran is allowed to test no more than 30 of the IR-6s once the deal has been in place for 8 ½ years. The deal is murky about limits before that point, which will arrive in 2023.
In the current report it repeated that Iran had installed “up to 33” of the IR-6 centrifuges, but said 11 have now been tested, and that “technical discussions in relation to the IR-6 centrifuges are ongoing.”
Source » islandpacket