Feb 21, 2023, 10:00 AM
100% lie about 84% enrichment

TEHRAN, Feb. 21 (MNA) – In a sign that the West is willing to intensify its propaganda against Iran, Bloomberg claimed that the UN nuclear watchdog’s inspectors had found uranium enriched to purity just short of weapons-grade levels.

According to Bloomberg, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency found uranium materials in Iran that are enriched up to 84%.

“Inspectors need to determine whether Iran intentionally produced the material, or whether the concentration was an unintended accumulation within the network of pipes connecting the hundreds of fast-spinning centrifuges used to separate the isotopes,” Bloomberg said.

Iran has unequivocally denied the report that it had enriched uranium to levels higher than 60 percent purity, asserting that the nation’s nuclear facilities have never breached the level.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), made the comments on Monday in response to the Bloomberg article that claimed, “the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is seeking to understand how Iran acquired uranium enriched to 84% purity.”

It was also purportedly said that highly enriched uranium particles had been discovered by IAEA inspectors “inside the network of pipelines linking centrifuges used to segregate uranium isotopes.”

Speaking to the Iranian state-run IRNA news agency, Kamalvandi said that Bloomberg’s article was an attempt to falsify the facts.

He continued by saying that, throughout the enrichment process, the mere presence of uranium particles with purity levels exceeding 60% does not indicate that uranium is being enriched at levels above 60%.

The official also said that the presence of such particles is a completely typical problem during the enrichment of uranium and may occur even if the feedstock entering centrifuge cascades temporarily decreases.

He underlined that “what matters is the final product and Iran has never started uranium enrichment at a level above 60 percent.”

“The IAEA is well aware that such issues happen during nuclear work. In various cases in the past, different levels of enrichment have been observed and have been accounted for, and this latest issue will be definitely clarified as well,” Kamalvandi added.

In response to the fact that the IAEA often does not tell its members of such matters, he stated, “Publicizing these matters through Western media once again proves that, regretfully, the IAEA has abandoned its professional and unbiased position since a long time ago. It purposefully shares technical material with Western media, and this behavior will undoubtedly further taint the image of this significant international body.”

Iran’s nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami derided the IAEA for disclosing details about Iran’s nuclear energy program to those who opposed diplomatic efforts to revive the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in an interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency in early February.

The JCPOA revival talks are hindered by those who get information on Iran’s nuclear program from the IAEA, according to Eslami.

He also voiced sorrow for the IAEA’s “political, unprofessional actions” in disclosing sensitive JCPOA data to those who obstruct the talks aimed at resurrecting the 2015 agreement, which the US unilaterally departed in 2018.

The Bloomberg report comes at a time when Iran is trying to boost cooperation with the IAEA. In a phone conversation with the EU’s foreign policy chief on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said plans are afoot in Tehran for a visit by IAEA Director-general Rafael Grossi.

“We are planning for an IAEA delegation visit to Tehran and we have common initiatives on our agenda,” Amir Abdollahian said, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.

He added, “If the agency acts based on a technical and non-political viewpoint, attaining a framework for the resolution of the issue is possible.”

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, in turn, expressed hope for the continuation of progress in the path of cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA and underlined the necessity of continuation of talks to advance the topics that are on the agenda.

During the phone talks, the two sides also discussed and exchanged views on the relations between Iran and the EU, the agreement for the removal of sanctions, the cooperation between Iran and the IAEA, and the developments in Ukraine.

Earlier this month, the IAEA issued an “inaccurate” report on Iran which drew criticism from Iran. The IAEA had accused Iran of applying changes to the configuration of some of its centrifuges without informing the Agency in advance.

Eslami said the IAEA inspectors’ assessment of their visit to the Fordow nuclear plant was “inaccurate.”

The three European signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – E3- issued a statement on Iran and accused it of making a move “inconsistent with Iran’s obligations under its NPT-required Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.”

Grossi said he is discussing the matter with Iran, which expects the IAEA to act professionally and avoid being used for political aims.

First published in Tehran Times

News Code 197623


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