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Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024

Iran's Unabated Uranium Enrichment: Stalled Talks and Unresolved IAEA Concerns

Iran's Unabated Uranium Enrichment: Stalled Talks and Unresolved IAEA Concerns

Iran is continuing to enrich uranium towards weapons-grade levels despite stalled negotiations with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
IAEA chief Rafael Grossi had hoped for significant progress in cooperation last year, but only a small fraction of the agreed steps have been implemented.

The IAEA is facing challenges in Iran, including the lack of progress towards implementing a March 2023 joint statement on cooperation.

Grossi recently traveled to Iran for talks, but follow-up discussions have since stalled due to the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash.

The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is calling for continued dialogue with Iran's new government regarding ongoing investigations into undeclared nuclear sites.

The IAEA has been investigating uranium particles found at three sites for years, and while the number of sites has been reduced to two, Iran has not provided satisfactory explanations.

The IAEA regrets that these issues have not been resolved, and France and Britain are pushing for a new resolution at the upcoming Board of Governors meeting.

The US has not yet indicated support for this resolution.

Iran increased its stockpile of uranium enriched up to 60 percent purity, which is close to weapons-grade, by 20.6 kg during the quarter ending May 11, according to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

This amounts to roughly enough material for three nuclear weapons if further enriched.

Iran later diluted 5.9 kg of this stockpile to a lower enrichment level.

The IAEA report prompted criticism from Western powers, who question the need for Iran to enrich uranium to such a high level for peaceful purposes.

Iran maintains that its nuclear program is peaceful.

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