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Thursday, February 11, 2021, 10:11
Iran producing uranium metal, UN nuke watchdog says
By Reuters
Thursday, February 11, 2021, 10:11 By Reuters

VIENNA - Iran has carried out its plan to produce uranium metal, the UN atomic watchdog confirmed on Wednesday, despite Western powers having warned Iran that would breach their 2015 nuclear deal as uranium metal can be used to make the core of an atom bomb.

Iran began breaching its nuclear deal with major powers step by step in 2019 in response to US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal the previous year and Washington’s reimposition of sanctions on Tehran.

Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency in December it planned to produce uranium metal fuel for a research reactor

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A law passed in response to the killing of its top nuclear scientist in November, which Tehran blames on Israel, called for steps including opening a uranium metal plant. Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency in December it planned to produce uranium metal fuel for a research reactor.

“Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi today informed IAEA Member States about recent developments regarding Iran’s R&D activities on uranium metal production as part of its stated aim to produce fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor,” the IAEA said in a statement.

Wednesday’s report, seen by Reuters, and a previous one said that Iran planned to carry out research on uranium metal using natural uranium before moving on to uranium metal enriched to 20 percent, the level it is enriching uranium to now, short of the 90 percent that is weapons grade.

“The Agency on 8 February verified 3.6 gram of uranium metal at Iran’s Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant (FPFP) in Esfahan,” the IAEA statement added.

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France, Britain and Germany, all parties to the deal, last month said they were “deeply concerned” and that Iran’s uranium metal production had no civilian credibility but potentially serious military implications.


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