UN: Iran Has Eliminated Virtually All its Enriched Uranium Gas
Iran has acted to eliminate virtually all of its most sensitive stockpile of enriched uranium gas, a report assessing compliance with an interim deal showed on Friday, according to Reuters.
The monthly update by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has a key role in ensuring that Iran lives up to its part of the November 24 agreement, showed that Iran was meeting its commitments to curb its disputed atomic activities.
Last month’s report showed that Iran has sharply cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile, as it agreed to do under the interim pact with world powers.
However, a new nuclear-related facility that Iran needs in order to fulfill all the requirements of the six-month deal by the time it expires on July 20 did not yet appear to be fully operating. The IAEA only said Iran had "begun the commissioning" of the plant, without elaborating.
The confidential report was obtained by Reuters shortly after it was issued to IAEA member states, on the same day as Iran and the powers concluded another round of negotiations on a long-term settlement of the decade-old nuclear dispute.
Friday's report said that since the half-year agreement took effect on January 20, Iran had either diluted to a lower enrichment level or fed for conversion into oxide form more than 97 percent of its uranium gas stock refined to a fissile concentration of 20 percent.
That stockpile - which totaled almost 210 kg (462 pounds) in January has been of a particular concern for the West as its enrichment purity represents a relatively short technical step away from that required for nuclear weapons. About 250 kg (551 pounds) of the material is needed for building one nuclear bomb, experts say.
Meanwhile, the latest round of talks between Iran and the West on turning the interim deal into a permanent one ended with no results on Friday, as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the West to "abandon excessive demands which will not be accepted by Iran."
Zarif indicated this week that the sides have started drafting a comprehensive agreement but added “there are still many differences” over the text.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)