Iran has enough uranium enriched to up to 60% purity, close to weapons-grade, for three atom bombs, new reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showed on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
The UN agency also said Iran is still stonewalling the agency on key issues.
Iran's stock of uranium enriched to up to 60% grew by 6.7 kg to 128.3 kg since the last report on September 4, one of the two reports to member states seen by Reuters said.
That is more than three times the roughly 42 kg (92.6 pounds) that by the IAEA's definition is theoretically enough, if enriched further, for a nuclear bomb.
The rate at which Iran is enriching to 60%, however, has slowed to around 3 kg (6.6 pounds) a month from 9 kg (19.8 pounds) earlier this year, which diplomats said is the apparent result of indirect negotiations with the United States that led to a prisoner exchange between the two countries in September.
The number of cascades, or clusters, of uranium-enriching centrifuges in operation is also unchanged, the report said.
The second report found there has been no progress on the IAEA investigation into uranium traces found at several undeclared sites in Iran.
The IAEA initially had questions about three sites, but the agency said in a report this past May it no longer had questions about a third questioned site.
Iran a few months ago escalated the conflict with the IAEA by withdrawing accreditation from several top UN nuclear watchdog inspectors.
Wednesday’s report said that IAEA chief Rafael Grossi wrote to Iran asking it to reconsider the de-designation of the inspectors, and Iran replied to say merely that it was "exploring possibilities to address the request".
Despite the standoffs over the inspectors, particles and monitoring equipment, Iran is unlikely to face serious consequences when the IAEA board meets next week, noted Reuters.
The standoff also continues between the US and Iran, which has scaled back its compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in response to former President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in 2018.
The Biden administration sought to return to the deal and held indirect talks with Iran on a return to compliance, but the negotiations reached a stalemate last September, after Iran submitted a response to a European Union proposal to revive the deal.
A US official later said that the efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have “hit a wall” because of Iran's insistence on the closure of the UN nuclear watchdog's investigations.