IAEA headquarters
IAEA headquarters iStock

Iran has gone further in breaching its nuclear deal with world powers, increasing its stock of enriched uranium and refining it to a higher purity than allowed, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report on Friday, according to Reuters.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog, which is policing the 2015 deal, said in July that Iran had exceeded both its 202.8-kg limit on enriched uranium stock and its 3.67% cap on the fissile purity to which Tehran is allowed to refine uranium.

Almost two months after it overshot those limits, Iran has accumulated 241.6 kg of enriched uranium and is enriching up to 4.5%, the quarterly IAEA report to member states obtained by Reuters showed.

Iran’s enriched uranium stock is still far below the many tons it possessed before the deal. Its enrichment level is also well short of the 20% it reached before the deal and the roughly 90% that is considered weapons-grade, the report said.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal last May. He later imposed two rounds of sanctions on Iran, the latest of which went into effect in November of 2018.

Iran, in turn, has scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

Its breaches of the deal have therefore not made much difference to the time it would need to obtain enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb if it sought one. The deal - under which Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief - extended that time to roughly a year from a few months.

But the breaches have ratcheted up pressure the European parties to the deal - France, Britain and Germany - who say they are determined to save the accord. France in particular has sought to encourage talks between Washington and Tehran, but Iran insists that first it must get relief from U.S. sanctions.

The European signatories have vowed to help Iran evade the economic sanctions imposed by the US, shielding companies doing business with the rogue state in an effort to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

(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.)