Iran 'concealing parts of its nuclear programme from UN'
According to reports received by the officials, Iran is hiding equipment from UN inspectors, which include machinery, pumps and spare parts for centrifuges - the machines used to enrich uranium to weapons grade, The Telegraph reported on Monday.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps are also allegedly storing material such as carbon fibre, which can be used in the production of advanced centrifuges in secret sites, the report said.
Intelligence officials say they believe the new materials - which are supposed to be made known to UN inspectors under the terms of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal - are being stored in 75 containers.
The containers are regularly transported across Iran to sites administered by the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran (AEOI).
Recent images collected by intelligence satellites show that some of the containers were stored at the AEOI's uranium conversion facility at Isfahan.
The report comes days after Iran's supreme leader echoed previous statements that the United States must lift all sanctions on the Islamic Republic before it returns to its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal.
"The country's policy regarding interaction with JCPOA parties and the JCPOA itself has been clear," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday in a televised speech, referring to the accord by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
It "entails that the Americans must lift the sanctions, all the sanctions, and then we will verify and if they are truly lifted, then we will return to our JCPOA commitments".
Khamenei stressed that lifting sanctions "on paper is not acceptable" and had to be implemented "in practice".
The deal was meant to provide Iran with international sanctions relief in exchange for limitations on its controversial nuclear programme.
But it has been on life-support ever since former US president Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018 and reimposed sanctions as part of a "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran.