Updated May 27th, 2024 at 22:53 IST

Iran Increases its Stockpile of Uranium Enriched to Near Weapons-Grade Levels: UN Report

A UN report says Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade levels.

Reported by: Isha Bhandari
Iran further increases its stockpile of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade levels | Image:AP
Advertisement

Iran has reportedly increased its stockpile of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade levels, as revealed in a confidential report by the United Nations' nuclear watchdog on Monday. The move is seen as Tehran's latest attempt to exert pressure on the international community amid ongoing negotiations to lift economic sanctions related to its controversial nuclear program.

According to the report, Iran now possesses 142.1 kilograms (313.2 pounds) of uranium enriched up to 60%, marking a significant increase since the last report in February. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also noted that Iran's overall stockpile of enriched uranium currently stands at 6,201.3 kilograms (13,671.5 pounds), representing a notable surge since the previous report.

Advertisement

Despite Iran's insistence that its nuclear program is peaceful, concerns have been raised by the IAEA regarding the country's capability to produce nuclear weapons. The IAEA chief, Rafael Mariano Grossi, has warned that Iran possesses enough uranium enriched to near-weapons-grade levels to potentially manufacture "several" nuclear bombs.

Tensions between Iran and the IAEA have escalated since 2018, following the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear deal with Iran. Since then, Iran has progressively abandoned the limits set by the agreement and intensified its uranium enrichment activities.

Advertisement

The report also highlighted Iran's refusal to allow IAEA inspectors to further monitor its nuclear program, a decision made in September 2023. This lack of cooperation has hindered the agency's verification efforts and remains a significant point of contention in ongoing discussions.

Additionally, the deaths of Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian have resulted in a pause in talks between Iran and the IAEA regarding cooperation. However, Iran has expressed willingness to resume discussions at a later date.

Advertisement

Moreover, unresolved issues remain regarding the origin and current location of manmade uranium particles found at undisclosed sites in Iran. The IAEA emphasized the importance of addressing these concerns to ensure the accuracy and completeness of Iran's declarations under the nuclear deal.

Efforts to reinstall monitoring equipment, including cameras, have also faced obstacles, with Iran failing to provide access to recorded data since June 2022.

Advertisement

Published May 27th, 2024 at 21:18 IST