According to confidential reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday, Iran has amassed sufficient enriched uranium, reaching up to 60 percent purity, a level near that required for weapons-grade material. This quantity corresponds to the potential creation of three atom bombs, as defined by the IAEA. Additionally, the reports indicate Iran’s ongoing reluctance to cooperate with the agency on critical matters.
Iran’s stock of uranium enriched to up to 60 percent grew by 6.7 kg (14.8 pounds) to 128.3 kg (282.9 pounds) since the last report on September 4, one of the two reports to member states seen by Reuters said. That is more than three times the roughly 42 kg (92.6 pounds) that by the IAEA’s definition is theoretically enough, if enriched further, for a nuclear bomb.
Weapons-grade is around 90 percent purity.
In the second report issued on Tuesday, the agency said there still had been no progress on two pressing issues in Iran: getting more monitoring equipment re-installed after it was removed at Tehran’s behest last year, and getting answers on the origin of uranium particles found at two undeclared sites.
It is the second time in a row that the IAEA’s quarterly reports have said there was no progress on either issue.
There also had been no progress in getting Iran to reverse its so-called “de-designation” in September of some IAEA inspectors assigned to the country.
The move effectively barred some inspectors, who diplomats said were from France and Germany and the IAEA said were among its most experienced experts, from working in Iran.
Tehran’s move, which the IAEA called “disproportionate and unprecedented,” was in response to a call on Iran by the United States, France, Britain and Germany at the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors to give credible explanations on the uranium particles and let the IAEA install more surveillance cameras.
“This measure, while formally permitted … was exercised by Iran in a manner that directly and seriously affects the Agency’s ability to conduct effectively its verification activities in Iran, in particular at the enrichment facilities,” the second IAEA report said.
“The (IAEA) Director General (Rafael Grossi) continues to strongly condemn Iran’s sudden withdrawal of the designations of several experienced Agency inspectors,” it added.