IAEA 'concerned' as Iran's enriched uranium stockpile reaches 16 times over deal limit

WION Web Team
Tehran, Iran Published: May 31, 2021, 11:15 PM(IST)

Iran nuclear plant at Arak (representative image). Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken while expressing doubts about Iran had said it was unclear whether the country was "ready and willing" to take steps to return to compliance under the nuclear deal.

The International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) said on Monday that Iran had enriched uranium stockpile 16 times over the deal limit even as the country's foreign ministry said it had made "significant" progress during the Vienna talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

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The IAEA said it was "concerned" over Iran's undeclared sites where nuclear activity may have taken place despite queries and discussions between the two sides.

The United States under the former Trump administration had walked out of the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran three years ago.

The Iranian government since then had vowed to ramp up its nuclear programme, however, the Biden administration has said it will return to the pact if Iran complies with the uranium enrichment limits.

According to the 2015 nuclear pact, Iran cannot develop nuclear weapons. Iran had earlier allowed the UN nuclear body to carry on monitoring and verification activities in the country.

However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken while expressing doubts about Iran had said it was unclear whether the country was "ready and willing" to take steps to return to compliance under the nuclear deal.

Iran in turn said talks in Vienna depended on "political decision" by the Biden administration even as the Iranian foreign ministry asserted that an agreement was "within reach".

Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit back at Blinken saying: "Trump's legacy is past its expiration date. Drop it," referring to the harsh sanctions imposed by former President Trump in the last few years. 

In a report earlier, IAEA had said Iran has enriched uranium to up to 63 per cent purity at the Natanz enrichment plant.

(With Agency inputs)

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