The UN nuclear watchdog yesterday reported that Iran has again boosted its stock of highly enriched uranium, just days before talks are set to resume seeking to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
In a report seen by AFP, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimated Iran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium at 2,489.7 kilograms - many times in excess of the limit laid down in the 2015 agreement.
The total amount now includes 113.8kg enriched to 20 percent, up from 84.3kg in September, and 17.7kg enriched up to 60 percent, up from 10kg, the report said.
The document will be discussed during the IAEA’s Board of Governors, scheduled for next week with diplomats preparing to restart talks in Vienna on November 29 over reviving the moribund 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
The remaining parties to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - will join the talks while the United States will participate indirectly.
Iran’s acting head of mission to UN agencies in Vienna, Mohamed Reza Ghaebi, said the new report “shows that the IAEA has continued its verification and surveillance activities regarding Tehran’s engagements.”
Quoted by Iranian media, he said that talks were ongoing to “solve some issues between the two parties” and called on IAEA member states to refrain from “making hasty or politically motivated comments”. A spokesman for Iran’s atomic agency told Fars news agency yesterday that IAEA chief Rafael Grossi would arrive in Tehran on Monday.
Grossi will meet Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation chief Mohamed Eslami on Tuesday, the spokesman added. On November 12, Grossi described as “astonishing” his lack of contact with the new Iranian government of President Ebrahim Raisi.
He said he had hoped to meet Iranian officials ahead of the next meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors, scheduled for next week.
During Grossi’s last visit to Tehran in September, he clinched a deal on access to monitoring equipment at Iran’s nuclear facilities.
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