Tuesday, June 22nd | 13 Tammuz 5781

Subscribe
May 11, 2021 3:34 pm
0

Iran Has Enriched Uranium to Up to 63 Percent Purity, IAEA Report Says

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

A view of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility 250 km (155 miles) south of the Iranian capital Tehran, March 30, 2005. Photo: REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

“Fluctuations” at Iran’s Natanz plant pushed the purity to which it enriched uranium to 63 percent, higher than the announced 60 percent that complicated talks to revive its nuclear deal with world powers, a report by the UN nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday.

Iran made the shift to 60 percent, a big step towards nuclear weapons-grade from the 20 percent previously achieved, last month in response to an explosion and power cut at Natanz that Tehran has blamed on Israel and appears to have damaged its enrichment output at a larger, underground facility there.

Iran’s move rattled the current indirect talks with the United States to agree conditions for both sides to return fully to the 2015 nuclear deal, which was undermined when Washington abandoned it in 2018, prompting Tehran to violate its terms.

The deal says Iran cannot enrich beyond 3.67 percent fissile purity, far from the 90 percent of weapons-grade. Iran has long denied any intention to develop nuclear weapons.

Related coverage

June 22, 2021 8:58 am

Hamas Leader in Gaza Demands Immediate Transfer of Qatari Cash

JNS.org - Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar raised demands for the immediate transfer of Qatari cash to the Gaza Strip, threatening...

“According to Iran, fluctuations of the enrichment levels … were experienced,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in the confidential report to its member states, seen by Reuters.

“The agency’s analysis of the ES (environmental samples) taken on 22 April 2021 shows an enrichment level of up to 63% U-235, which is consistent with the fluctuations of the enrichment levels (described by Iran),” it added, without saying why the fluctuations had occurred.

A previous IAEA report last month said Iran was using one cascade, or cluster, of advanced IR-6 centrifuge machines to enrich to up to 60 percent and feeding the tails, or depleted uranium, from that process into a cascade of IR-4 machines to enrich to up to 20 percent.

Tuesday’s report said the Islamic Republic was now feeding the tails from the IR-4 cascade into a cascade of 27 IR-5 and 30 IR-6s centrifuges to refine uranium to up to 5 percent.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner

Algemeiner.com

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.