Despite Western warnings that such activity may jeopardize talks on restoring the Iran nuclear deal, Iran has made progress on enriched uranium metal, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said in a report to member states obtained by Reuters on Monday.
“On 14 August 2021, the Agency verified … that Iran had used 257 g of uranium enriched up to 20% U-235 in the form of UF4 (uranium tetrafluoride) to produce 200 g of uranium metal enriched up to 20% U-235,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said, adding that this was step three in a four-step plan by Iran. The fourth includes producing a reactor fuel plate.
Iran’s work on enriched uranium metal has angered Europe’s three top powers and the United States because that technology, and knowledge of how to produce it, can be used to make the core of a nuclear bomb. Iran insists its aims are entirely peaceful and it is developing a new type of reactor fuel.