This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has increased, and it now stands at more than 10 times the limit set down in the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, the UN nuclear watchdog said in a report on September 4.
But the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also said that Iran has begun providing access to sites where the country was suspected of having stored or used undeclared nuclear material.
According to the IAEA quarterly report, Iran as of August 25 had stockpiled 2,105.4 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, up from 1,571.6 kilograms last reported on May 20.
The 2015 deal — known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms.
The IAEA said that Iran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of up to 4.5 percent, higher than the 3.67 percent allowed under the deal with world powers. It’s still far short of the 20 percent level it achieved before the deal.
However, Iran’s stockpile of heavy water had decreased and is now back within the limits set by the JCPOA, the nuclear watchdog said.
The nuclear deal – signed with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China, and Russia — promised Iran economic incentives in return for the curbs on its nuclear program.
In 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal unilaterally, saying it needed to be renegotiated.
Since then, Iran has gradually violated JCPOA restrictions. The remaining nations maintain that even though Iran has been violating many of the pact’s terms, it is important to keep the deal alive because Iran has continued providing the IAEA with critical access to inspect its nuclear facilities.