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Iran Starts Producing Uranium Metal, Further Violating Nuclear Deal – IAEA

02/11/2021

UN nuclear watchdog highlights yet another breach of the limits as set out in 2015’s JCPOA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog announced Wednesday that Iran had started producing uranium metal, in clear violation of 2015 nuclear deal.

“The Vienna-based organization said in a statement seen that on February 8 it “verified 3.6 grams of uranium metal at Iran’s Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant in Isfahan,” according to AFP, in a fresh breach of the limits of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement.

Evidence of this latest breach comes as Tehran is attempting to escalate the pressure on new US President Joe Biden’s administration.

It seeks either a return to the 2015 so-called nuclear deal and/or the lifting of punishing sanctions that Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump imposed as punishment for previous breaches in conjunction with the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program.

The material produced was a small amount of natural uranium metal, the IAEA reported, meaning it wasn’t enriched. To use uranium metal, Iran would need around half a kilogram, or slightly more than 1 pound, of highly enriched uranium metal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While Iran has repeatedly encroached on the rules of 2015’s agreement, it could plausibly deny that its steps to increase uranium enrichment could be done for civilian purposes, such as fueling power plants or for medical processes. However, there are few non-military uses for the production of uranium metal.

Read More: I24