ISSN 2330-717X

UN’s Nuclear Watchdog Says Iran Has Failed To Explain Uranium Traces


(RFE/RL) — The UN’s nuclear watchdog agency said on May 31 that Iran has failed to explain traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites and that it continues to breach enrichment limits spelled out in the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.

The news could complicate talks currently under way in Vienna to revive the deal.

A quarterly report by the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, said that Tehran has failed to provide “the necessary explanation for the presence of the nuclear material particles at any of the three locations where the agency has conducted complementary accesses [inspections].”

The report also said that Iran has produced 62.8 kilograms of uranium enriched up to 20 percent purity and 2.4 kilograms enriched up to 60 percent purity — well above the 3.67 percent purity allowed under the nuclear deal.

The IAEA hasn’t been able to access data important to monitoring Iran’s nuclear program since late February when Tehran started restricting international inspections of its facilities, according to the Vienna-based organization.

The IAEA and Iran earlier acknowledged the restrictions limited access to surveillance cameras at Iranian facilities, but the report issued on May 31 indicated they went much further.

Iran started limiting inspections in a bid to put pressure on the government of U.S. President Joe Biden to lift crippling sanctions reimposed after then-President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran unilaterally in 2018.

Since the U.S. withdrawal from the pact, Iran has been steadily violating its various restrictions, including on the types of centrifuges it’s allowed to use, the amount of enriched uranium it is allowed to stockpile, and the purity to which it is allowed to enrich.


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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