IAEA confirms Iran has increased uranium enrichment level

TEHRAN, Jul. 08 (MNA) – Iran has enriched uranium beyond a 3.67% purity limit set by its deal with major powers, the UN nuclear watchdog policing the deal said on Monday, confirming a move previously announced by Tehran.

“(International Atomic Energy Agency) Director General Yukiya Amano has informed the IAEA Board of Governors that Agency inspectors on 8 July verified that Iran is enriching uranium above 3.67% U-235,” an IAEA spokesman said, referring to the fissile uranium-235 isotope, according to Reuters.

An IAEA report to member states obtained by Reuters said the agency had verified the enrichment level using online enrichment monitors, and samples had also been taken on Monday for analysis. It did not say exactly what purity level Iran was enriching at, only that it was above the 3.67% limit.

The report added that Iran had informed the agency on Monday that “based on the operator’s assessment” the enrichment level was about 4.5%. The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrooz Kamalvandi said earlier on Monday that the level had passed 4.5%.

During a press conference in Tehran yesterday, at the end of Iran’s 60-day deadline to the European countries, the spokesman announced the second phase of Iran’s retaliatory measures under the deal and said that uranium enrichment level would surpass the 3.67% limit.

Iran stresses that the reductions in commitments do not violate the nuclear deal, but they are based on paragraphs 26 and 36 of the agreement.

“Having failed to implement their obligations under JCPOA—incl after US withdrawal—EU/E3 should at minimum politically support Iran’s remedial measures under Para 36, incl at IAEA. E3 have no pretexts to avoid a firm political stance to preserve JCPOA & counter US unilateralism,” Foreign Minister Zarif tweeted on Sunday after Iran's announcement.


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