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Iran violating all restrictions of nuclear deal, UN says

An empty chair of Iran's ambassador to International Atomic Energy Agency [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 June, 2020

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Iran continued to increase its stockpiles of enriched uranium, leaving the remains of the nuclear deal in tatters.





The United Nations' atomic watchdog agency says Iran has continued to increase its stockpiles of enriched uranium and remains in violation of its deal with world powers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported the finding Friday in a confidential document distributed to member countries and seen by The Associated Press.

The agency said that as of May 20, Iran’s total stockpile of low-enriched uranium amounted to 1,571.6 kilograms (1.73 tons), up from 1,020.9 kilograms (1.1 tons) on Feb. 19.

Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.

Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, it allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms (447 pounds).

The US pulled out of the deal unilaterally in 2018.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of 4.5 per cent, higher than the 3.67 per cent allowed under the JCPOA.

The nuclear deal promised Iran economic incentives in return for the curbs on its nuclear program. Since President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal, Iran has been slowly violating the restrictions.

It is now in violation of all restrictions outlined by the JCPOA, which Tehran says it hopes will pressure the other nations involved to increase economic incentives to make up for hard-hitting sanctions imposed by Washington after the US withdrew.

Last month Iran said its experts would continue nuclear development activities, despite sanctions imposed earlier this week on their fellow scientists by the United States.

State TV cited a statement from the country's nuclear department saying the US decision to impose sanctions on two Iranian nuclear scientists indicate continuation of a "hostile" attitude.

It said the sanctions would make them "determined to continue their nonstop efforts more than before".

The statement said the sanctions violate international law.

This came as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo imposed sanctions on two officials with Iran’s atomic energy organisation, Majid Agha'i and Amjad Sazgar, who are involved in the development and production of centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

Pompeo also said he would revoke all but one of the sanctions waivers covering civil nuclear cooperation.

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