Uranium particles detected at undeclared site in Iran: IAEA report

WION Web Team Washington Nov 12, 2019, 09.33 AM(IST)

General view of the water facility at Arak south-west of the Iranian capital Tehran. Photograph:( AFP )

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On July 1, Iran had said it had increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond a 300-kilogramme maximum set by the deal.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a report that it had detected uranium particles at an undeclared site in Iran in breach of the 2015 nuclear deal.

News agency AFP which accessed the report said that the Rouhani government's nuclear stockpile had reached the equivalent of 551 kilogrammes which was way more than 300-kilogramme limit laid down in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA).

"Since 9 November 2019, Iran has been conducting uranium enrichment at the plant," Reuters quoting the report said.

Iran had resumed enrichment at the Fordow plant on Thursday.

Last week, Iran had said it was enriching uranium to five per cent even though the nuclear deal signed in 2015 had set the limit to a 3.67 per cent limit.

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"Based on our needs and what we have been ordered, we are currently producing five per cent," Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran spokesman said. Kamalvandi added that Iran had the  "capacity to produce five per cent, twenty per cent, sixty per cent, or any percentage" of enriched uranium.

On July 1, Iran had said it had increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond a 300-kilogramme maximum set by the deal, it later said the enrichment cap had been exceeded.

The report said the IAEA's inspectors had "detected natural uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at a location in Iran not declared to the agency," while adding that, "it was essential for Iran to continue interactions with the agency to resolve the matter as soon as possible."

On Sunday, Iran rejected the IAEA report that it had found traces of uranium at an Iranian site calling it a "trap".

"The Zionist regime and Israel are attempting to re-open ... this file," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

"We have announced that this is a trap," Mousavi said.

"Hopefully the IAEA will maintain its vigilance."  

As the nuclear controversy brewed, Germany's foreign minister said Heiko Maas said Germany, Britain and France should be ready to consider starting moves to reinstate international sanctions on Iran over breaches of its 2015 nuclear deal.

"Iran must finally return to its commitments (under the 2015 accord)," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, adding,"otherwise we will reserve the right to use all mechanisms specified in the deal (for sanctions to be reimposed)."