IAEA: Iran complying with nuclear deal

UN's nuclear watchdog says key parameters of Iran's nuclear program remain within limits of 2015 deal.

Elad Benari,

IAEA headquarters
IAEA headquarters

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog, said on Monday that Iran remains in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with Western powers.

The quarterly IAEA update confirmed that key parameters of Iran's nuclear program remained within the limits of the accord with major powers, reported the AFP news agency.

The restricted report, seen by AFP, said Iran "has not enriched" uranium above low levels and that its stockpile of enriched uranium was under the agreed limit of 300 kilograms (660 pounds).

The new IAEA report said that the number of enrichment centrifuges installed at Iran's Natanz site remained below the upper limit of 5,060 during the reporting period.

The volume of heavy water -- a reactor coolant -- remained below the agreed maximum of 130 tonnes throughout the past three months and on November 6 was 114.4 tons.

Iran has gone above that ceiling twice since the deal came into force in January 2016.

The IAEA assessment showed that, aside from on heavy water, a relatively minor breach, Tehran has complied with the deal since its entry into force in January 2016.

An IAEA report released in September had also affirmed Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal, which froze some of Tehran's nuclear activities. Last month, the watchdog's head, Yukiya Amano, affirmed Iran's commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal.

The IAEA report comes a month after U.S. President Donald Trump refused to certify the deal, saying it was not in America's national interest and leaving the accord's fate up to Congress.

The decision gave the Republican-controlled Congress 60 days -- which run out in mid-December -- to decide whether to reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The European Union remains in favor of the nuclear deal, and its foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, was in Washington last week where she urged members of Congress not to scrap the deal, arguing that it cannot be renegotiated.