Iran is currently in talks with global powers over reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the US unilaterally abandoned in 2018.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran has exceeded its enriched uranium stockpile limit by more than 16 times, AFP reported, citing the organisation’s report.The limit was agreed as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.
According to the IAEA, Iran’s stock of enriched uranium is estimated to be some 3,241 kg as of 22 May. This far exceeds the 202.8 kg limit set by the JCPOA agreement.
The agency estimated a quarterly increase in enriched uranium stock to 273.3 kg. Uranium enriched up to 60 percent purity is said to equal 2.4 kg, while that of 20 percent purity is currently estimated to weigh in at 62.8 kg.
The IAEA said Iran’s production of uranium was verified on 18 May. The agency, however, noted that it still was not able to verify Iran’s total stockpile.
A separate report detailing Iran’s nuclear programme showed on Monday that Tehran has failed to explain to the UN’s watchdog why traces of nuclear material particles were discovered at inspected sites.
“After many months, Iran has not provided the necessary explanation for the presence of the nuclear material particles at any of the three locations where the agency has conducted complementary accesses (inspections),” IAEA chief Rafael Grossi was quoted as saying in the report.
The agency is “deeply concerned” over the findings, Grossi stated. Meanwhile, the chief of the nuclear watchdog said that technical discussions with Iran “have not yielded the expected results” and called on the Republic to clarify the outstanding issues as soon as possible.
With ongoing talks in Vienna over the revival of Iran’s nuclear deal, that was agreed in 2015 but unilaterally abandoned by Washington in 2018, the reports are likely to lead to further clashes between Iran and global powers, and a string of accusations from the US.
Iran maintains that its nuclear programme remains peaceful with no intention to produce nuclear weapons. However, following the Trump administration’s departure from the deal, Tehran announced that it would suspend its compliance with the JCPOA and begin enriching uranium to 20 percent, far beyond the 3.67 percent level set by the deal.