TEHRAN, Iran ( Associated Press) – Iran said on Wednesday it has supplied the UN nuclear watchdog with documents explaining the discovery of traces of suspected enriched uranium, state media reported, the first approval from Tehran. That he had responded to the agency’s long-standing demands.
The head of Iran’s Civil Atomic Energy Organization, Mohamed Eslami, said Iran had sent a requested clarification on March 20 about several previously undeclared sites in Iran where there was evidence of past nuclear activity.
The deadline comes as part of an agreement announced last month to address the problem of degraded uranium particles in Iran until June – the source of longstanding tensions between Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog.
The thorny issue with world powers to revive Tehran’s nuclear deal is a stark contrast to the now stalled talks that collapsed four years ago when former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal and crushed Iran. Banned. Meanwhile, Iran has vastly expanded its nuclear work.
As the fate of a renewed nuclear deal hangs in the balance, long-sought answers about Iran’s old but undeclared nuclear sites will improve confidence and a major sticking point in its talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency. will solve The IAEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Eslamy’s statement.
Eslami told reporters that Iran handed over the documents to a UN watchdog without elaborating on the three requested sites in Iran. He hoped that agency inspectors would visit Iran “to review the responses” and finish a report on the subject by the end of June.
In 2019 the IAEA discovered traces of man-made uranium for the first time, suggesting they were once linked to Iran’s nuclear program. US intelligence agencies, Western countries and the IAEA have said that Iran carried out an organized nuclear weapons program as far back as 2003. Iran has long refused to seek nuclear weapons.
As a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran is obliged to explain the radioactive fragments and to assure that they are not being used as part of a nuclear weapons program. The IAEA has staked its credibility on finding information about the sites, with its chief Rafael Grossi failing to respond regularly to Iran about where the radioactive particles came from and where they are now.
Eslami claimed on Wednesday that one of the particles discovered by IAEA inspectors does not exist in Iran without offering evidence or description. He blamed regional arch foe Israel for “sowing doubts” about the nature of Iran’s nuclear program. Israel has said it believes Iran will pursue a nuclear weapon, although Western intelligence assessments indicate otherwise.
Tehran currently enriches uranium to 60% purity – its highest level and a small technological step up from a weapons-grade level of 90% and far more than the nuclear deal’s 3.67% cap.
Stockpiles of enriched uranium continue to grow as nuclear talks in Vienna continue, with nuclear non-proliferation experts worrying that Iran could be close to the threshold of having enough material for a nuclear weapon if it chose to pursue one.