The UN nuclear watchdog said that Iran‘s estimated stockpile of enriched uranium was down compared to May but it was still more than 18 times the limit set in the 2015 accord. According to a confidential International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was estimated at 3,795.5 kilograms (8,367.7 pounds) as of August 19, down by 949 kilograms from May, news agency AFP reported. The limit in the 2015 deal was set at 202.8 kilograms. Uranium enriched at 60% purity is just a short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%.
This implies that Iran has slowed its enrichment of uranium at nearly weapons-grade levels. This could be used by Iran as it seeks to lower tensions between it and US after years of tensions since the collapse of its 2015 nuclear deal.
Till now, Iran has maintained that its program is peaceful, but the IAEA’s director-general has warned that Tehran has enough enriched uranium for “several” nuclear bombs if it chose to build them. Iran likely would still need months to build a weapon, US intelligence agencies said in March but Tehran “is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities that would be necessary to produce a testable nuclear device.”
Meanwhile, the UN nuclear watchdog said that it “regretted” that “no progress” had been made by Iran on several outstanding issues, including installing additional cameras to monitor the country’s nuclear programme.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Rafael Grossi “requests Iran to work with the agency in earnest and in a sustained way towards the fulfilment of the commitments,” the agency said.