Illustrative photo – Underground centrifuges enriching uranium in nuclear operation in Natanz, Iran.
Vienna – Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found traces of uranium enriched to 83.7 percent in Iran in January. That's just under the 90 percent needed to make nuclear weapons. It was written today by the DPA agency with reference to the head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi. Iran says it wants to use nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes. He called the very high level of enrichment in traces found in the Fordo facility an “unintended fluctuation”.
The non-public finding report, which the DPA also refers to, states that the IAEA is in talks with Tehran in an effort to clarify the matter.
It also says that Iran now has 88 kilograms of uranium enriched to 60 percent, which is 25 kilograms more than in the previous quarter. Stocks of uranium enriched to 20 percent increased by 48 kilograms to a total of 435 kilograms.
Uranium enriched to values of around 90 percent is needed to produce a nuclear weapon. But experts have previously warned that Iran has enough uranium enriched to 60 percent to make fuel for at least one nuclear bomb. IAEA chief Grossi said in January that Tehran could produce several nuclear weapons if it further enriched the uranium it has.
In 2015, Iran signed an agreement with world powers that included easing anti-Iranian sanctions. sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear ambitions and guarantees that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons. The agreement allowed Iran to enrich uranium to a maximum of 3.67 percent.
However, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and renewed sanctions against Iran. Iran then began to violate the agreement. Negotiations on the renewal of the agreement are stagnant.