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Thursday May 30, 2024

Iran’s uranium stock enriched to 60pc shrinks but problems persist: IAEA

IAEA reports did not give a reason for the so-called downblending of 31.8 kg of material enriched to up to 60 percent

By Reuters
February 27, 2024
The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can be seen in this image. — AFP/File
The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can be seen in this image. — AFP/File

VIENNA: Iran’s stock of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade has shrunk, bringing it below the theoretical threshold at which it could produce three atom bombs, but problems with inspectors persist, reports by the UN nuclear watchdog said on Monday.

Although the International Atomic Energy Agency has said Iran’s enrichment of uranium to up to 60 percent continues apace, Iran diluted more than it produced in the past three months, one of the two confidential quarterly reports to member states said.

The IAEA reports did not give a reason for the so-called downblending of 31.8 kg of material enriched to up to 60 percent, after which the stock fell by an estimated 6.8 kg since the last such quarterly reports to 121.5 kg.

“At the beginning of the year they decided to do a downblending ... A couple of weeks later they did another downblending, this time with a smaller amount,” a senior diplomat said when asked about the reports seen by Reuters, adding that it was not clear why Iran had done it.