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July 2, 2019

Iran says it exceeds enriched uranium stockpile limit

AFP
July 2, 2019

TEHRAN: Iran said on Monday it had exceeded a limit on its enriched uranium reserves under a 2015 nuclear deal that has edged towards collapse as the US imposes a "maximum pressure" campaign.

"Iran has crossed the 300-kilogramme limit based on its plan" announced in May, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told semi-official news agency ISNA. The United States withdrew from the nuclear deal last year and reimposed biting sanctions on Iran’s crucial oil exports and financial transactions as well as other sectors.

Tehran, which has sought to pressure the remaining parties to save the deal, on May 8 announced it would no longer respect the limit set on its enriched uranium and heavy water stockpiles.

It also threatened to go further and abandon more nuclear commitments unless the remaining partners -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- helped it to circumvent sanctions, especially to sell its oil. In his comments published Monday, Zarif said Iran had set out its intentions "very clearly" in May.

The International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday confirmed Iran had exceeded the limit that the deal had imposed on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU). The IAEA "verified on July 1 that Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile exceeded 300 kilogrammes", a spokesperson said.