UN atomic watchdog: Iran increases uranium stockpile further

Sep 6, 2022, 7:51 PM | Updated: Sep 7, 2022, 8:07 am
FILE - In this photo released by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, technicians work at the Ar...

FILE - In this photo released by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, technicians work at the Arak heavy water reactor's secondary circuit, as officials and media visit the site, near Arak, Iran, Dec. 23, 2019. The United Nations’ atomic watchdog said Thursday, Sept. 7, 2022, that it believes Iran has continued to increase its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, and also voiced increasing concern over Tehran's lack of engagement with a probe that has become a sticking point in efforts to revive the Islamic Republic's nuclear deal with world powers. (Atomic Energy Organization of Iran via AP, File)

(Atomic Energy Organization of Iran via AP, File)

VIENNA (AP) — The U.N. atomic watchdog said Wednesday it believes Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium that is highly enriched to one short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels.

The International Atomic Energy Agency also voiced increasing concerns over Tehran’s lack of engagement with a probe that has become a sticking point in efforts to revive the Islamic Republic’s nuclear deal with world powers.

In its confidential quarterly report, the IAEA told member nations that it believes Iran has an estimated 55.6 kilograms (122.6 pounds) of uranium enriched to up to 60% fissile purity, an increase of 12.5 kilograms since May.

That enrichment to 60% purity is one short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%. Nonproliferation experts have warned that Iran now has enough 60%-enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel for at least one nuclear bomb.

The IAEA report, which was seen by The Associated Press, also estimated that as of Aug. 21, Iran’s stockpile of all enriched uranium was at 3621.3 kilograms — an increase of 365.5 kilograms since the last quarterly report in May.

The Vienna-based IAEA said it was unable to verify the exact size of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium due to limitations that Tehran imposed on U.N. inspectors last year and the removal of the agency’s monitoring and surveillance equipment in June at sites in Iran.

While Iran long has maintained its program is peaceful, officials now openly discuss Tehran’s ability to seek an atomic bomb if it wanted.

The IAEA’s assessment comes amid efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which eased sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

The United States unilaterally pulled out of the accord in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to start backing away from the deal’s terms.

Iran last week sent a written response in negotiations over a final draft of a roadmap for parties to return to the tattered nuclear deal, though the U.S. cast doubt on Tehran’s offer. Neither side elaborated on the contents.

Were the deal to be renewed, the IAEA report said, the lack of surveillance and monitoring since IAEA cameras were removed in June would require “remedial action” to reestablish its knowledge of Iran’s activities during this period.

In a separate report, IAEA officials said they are “increasingly concerned” that Iran has not engaged on the agency’s probe into man-made uranium particles found at three undeclared sites in the country, which has become a key sticking point in the talks for a renewed deal.

Last week, Iran’s hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi maintained that the IAEA investigation into the issue must be halted in order for the 2015 deal to be renewed.

The IAEA has for years sought answers from Iran to its questions about the particles. U.S. intelligence agencies, Western nations and the IAEA have said Iran ran an organized nuclear weapons program until 2003. Iran long has denied ever seeking nuclear weapons.

Iran was criticized by the IAEA’s board of governors, representing member states, in June over its failure to answer questions about the sites to the inspectors’ satisfaction.

Because Iran has not further engaged with the IAEA on the issue or offered “credible” explanations for the presence of these particles, the latest IAEA report said the agency “is not in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Official: 2 killed amid crashes during pop-up NJ car rally

WILDWOOD, N.J. (AP) — Authorities in New Jersey say at least two people were killed amid multiple crashes at a pop-up car rally in Wildwood over the weekend. Mayor Pete Byron told NJ Advance Media Sunday that there were a series of car crashes related to the “unsanctioned” car meet-up event, NJ.com reported. Byron said […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Little evidence of political argument before teen’s death

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — There is little indication that an 18-year-old who died after being struck by an SUV in North Dakota was a political extremist like the driver claimed. Investigators say none of the witnesses they have interviewed support the idea that there was a political argument before authorities say Shannon Brandt struck Cayler […]
13 hours ago
Demonstrators hold placards outside the Iranian Embassy in London, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. They wer...
Associated Press

Unrest erupts near Iranian embassy in London over death

LONDON (AP) — Violent street protests erupted outside the Iranian embassy in London on Sunday, with rocks thrown at police and five protesters arrested. Large crowds have been gathering all week outside the Knightsbridge compound in protest against the death in Iranian police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Iran. She had been arrested by […]
2 days ago
Cuba's President Miguel Diaz Canel walks with his wife Lis Cuesta Peraza before casting his vote at...
Associated Press

Cuba holds unusual vote on law allowing same-sex marriage

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba held a rare referendum Sunday on an unusually contentious law — a government-backed “family law” code that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt, as well as outlining the rights of children and grandparents. Cuba holds parliamentary elections every two years, though no party other than the Communist is allowed, […]
2 days ago
Orthodox Jews pray at the tomb of Rabbi Nachman, the great grandson of the founder of Hasidic movem...
Associated Press

Jewish pilgrims gather in Ukraine despite the perils of war

UMAN, Ukraine (AP) — Thousands of Hasidic Jewish pilgrims flocked to central Ukraine to mark the Jewish new year Sunday, ignoring international travel warnings as Russia struck more targets from the air and mobilized its citizens to stem losses in the war that has entered its eighth month. The pilgrims, many traveling from Israel and […]
2 days ago
Relatives of the missing 43 Ayotzinapa students hold signs that read in Spanish "You took them aliv...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Mexican army’s role in students’ disappearance

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican army’s role in the disappearance of 43 college students, its participation in covering up the facts and its alleged links to organized crime are now at the center of a case that has shaken the nation. The government’s Truth Commission declared the incident a “state crime” in August. Three […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
UN atomic watchdog: Iran increases uranium stockpile further