Inspectors from the United Nations nuclear watchdog found uranium particles enriched up to 83.7% in Iran’s underground Fordo nuclear site.
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Report by The International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA):
- The confidential quarterly report by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency distributed to member states likely will raise tensions further between Iran and the West over its nuclear program.
- That’s even as Tehran already faces internal unrest after months of protests and Western anger over sending bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war on Ukraine.
- The IAEA report only speaks about “particles,” suggesting that Iran isn’t building a stockpile of uranium enriched above 60% — the level it has been enriching at for some time.
- The IAEA report described inspectors discovering on Jan. 21 that two cascades of IR-6 centrifuges at Iran’s Fordo facility had been configured in a way “substantially different” to what had been previously declared.
- The IAEA took samples the following day, which showed particles up to 83.7% purity, the report said.
- The IAEA report also said that it would “further increase the frequency and intensity of agency verification activities” at Fordo after the discovery.
Nuclear Deal with Iran:
Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal limited Tehran’s uranium stockpile to 300 kilograms (661 pounds) and enrichment to 3.67% — enough to fuel a nuclear power plant. The U.S.’ unilateral withdraw from the accord in 2018 set in motion a series of attacks and escalations by Tehran over its program.
Iran has been producing uranium enriched to 60% purity — a level for which nonproliferation experts already say Tehran has no civilian use. The IAEA report put Iran’s uranium stockpile as of Feb. 12 at some 3,760 kilogram (8,289 pounds) — an increase of 87.1 kilograms (192 pounds) since its last quarterly report in November. Of that, 87.5 kilograms (192 pounds) is enriched up to 60% purity.
More About The 2015 Nuclear Deal: Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA):
- In 2015, Iran with the P5+1 group of world powers – the USA, UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany agreed on a long-term deal on its nuclear programme.
- The deal was named as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and in common parlance as Iran Nuclear Deal.
- Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activity in return for the lifting of sanctions and access to global trade.
- The agreement allowed Iran to accumulate small amounts of uranium for research but it banned the enrichment of uranium, which is used to make reactor fuel and nuclear weapons.
- Iran was also required to redesign a heavy-water reactor being built, whose spent fuel could contain plutonium suitable for a bomb and to allow international inspections.
About International Atomic Energy Agency:
(image credit: respective producer)
- Widely known as the world’s “Atoms for Peace and Development” organization within the United Nations family, the IAEA is the international centre for cooperation in the nuclear field.
- The IAEA was created in 1957 in response to the deep fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and diverse uses of nuclear technology.
- Headquarter: Vienna, Austria.
Important facts for the competitive exams:
- OFFICAL NAME: Republic of Iran
- FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Islamic republic
- CAPITAL: Tehran
- POPULATION: 83,024,745
- OFFICAL LANGUAGE: Farsi
- CURRENCY: Rial
PRESIDENT: Ebrahim Raisi
- AREA: 636,372 square miles (1,648,105 square kilometers)
- MAJOR MOUNTAIN RANGES: Elburz, Zagros
- MAJOR RIVERS: Karun, Karkeh, Zayandeh
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