Iran Still Complying with Nuclear Deal, Says IAEA

Iran is still sticking to a partial nuclear freeze as it agreed in interim deal, the UN atomic watchdog says in new report.

Elad Benari ,

Bushehr nuclear power plant
Bushehr nuclear power plant
AFP file

Iran is still sticking to a partial nuclear freeze agreed in a November interim deal with world powers, the UN atomic watchdog said in a report seen by AFP on Thursday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that two months into the six-month halt, Iran was still not enriching uranium to medium fissile purities, as agreed in November.

It was also continuing to dilute and convert its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and had not made any advances at its Fordow and Natanz enrichment plants or at the Arak nuclear reactor, the IAEA said, according to AFP.

Iran had also "provided daily access to the enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow" and to "centrifuge assembly workshops, centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities, and provided information thereon," the IAEA added.

Several weeks ago, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano confirmed that Iran is reducing its most proliferation-prone nuclear stockpile as required by the deal, but also said that much work remains to be done to resolve all concerns about Tehran's activities.

Under the interim agreement, Iran committed to limit its uranium enrichment to five percent, halting production of 20 percent-enriched uranium. In return, the European Union and the United States have eased crippling economic sanctions on Iran.

In return, Iran is gradually winning access to $4.2 billion of its oil revenues frozen abroad and some other sanctions relief. The funds will be paid out in eight transfers on a schedule that started with a $550 million payment by Japan on February 1.

Iran and the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - want to turn the November deal into a lasting accord by July.

This week the sides had a second round of talks effect in Vienna, with both sides saying progress had been made but that hard work remained to be done. The next round is from April 7-9.