The head of the global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, has confirmed that Iran has started to produce higher quantities of enriched uranium, following through on its threat last month.
Iran announced in May that that it would suspend some commitments of the nuclear deal in retaliation for sanctions reinstated by the U.S. after withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) a year earlier. Iran said they would no longer comply with restrictions on enriched uranium stocks at 300kg and heavy water at 130 tonnes.
The JCPOA caps uranium enrichment levels at 3.67%.
In a press conference this week, Amano confirmed that Iran’s uranium production rate is increasing but he did not provide details about the extent of the increase.
Yukia Amano said he was “worried about increasing tensions over the Iranian nuclear issue”.
He said that he hoped “that ways can be found to reduce the current tensions through dialogue. It is essential that Iran fully implements its nuclear-related commitments” under the deal.
In May 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, and reimpose “powerful” economic sanctions that were waived when the deal was signed in 2015.
A formal nuclear agreement – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – between Iran and P5+1 world powers was signed in Vienna on 14th July 2015, following two years of negotiations.