Friday, April 19, 2024

Iran’s nuclear enrichment activity remains high: IAEA Chief

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmatihttps://www.khaama.com
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

Iran continues to enrich uranium beyond what is necessary for commercial nuclear purposes, defying U.N. pressure, according to Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Grossi expressed his intention to visit Tehran to address the growing divide on the issue.

Despite a slight slowdown, Iran maintains an elevated rate of uranium enrichment, reaching up to 60% purity, far exceeding the limit set by the defunct 2015 agreement with world powers, as reported by Reuters.

Enriching uranium to 60% brings it close to weapons grade, a capability not required for commercial nuclear power production. Iran denies pursuing nuclear weapons, but concerns remain as no other state has enriched uranium to such levels without weapon production.

Following the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 agreement and the reimposition of sanctions in 2018, Iran breached and surpassed the deal’s nuclear restrictions.

Iran’s fluctuating pace of enrichment, including slowdowns and subsequent speedups, underscores a constant increase in highly enriched uranium inventory, according to Grossi.

The IAEA reported a significant increase in enrichment activity after Iran restricted a third of the agency’s core inspections team from monitoring the process.

Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization has not immediately responded to requests for comment on these developments.

Grossi highlighted the alarming rhetoric from Iranian officials suggesting the possession of all elements necessary for a nuclear weapon, especially concerning Middle East tensions.

Grossi plans to visit Moscow to discuss Iran and Middle East affairs with Russian President Vladimir Putin, emphasizing Russia’s role in the now-diminished JCPOA.

The situation around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains stable, with a decrease in military operations despite ongoing concerns about nearby combat zones.

Although some staff members have refused to sign new contracts with Rosatom, which operates the plant, the minimum staffing requirements are still being met.

The EU has refrained from sanctioning Russia’s state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom despite calls to target the industry due to heavy reliance on Russian supplies.

Reducing Europe’s dependence on Russia’s nuclear sector would incur significant costs, with no immediate shift in sight, according to Grossi, who also noted an increase in Russian uranium enrichment capabilities globally.

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