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IAEA Claims That Iran Has Further Increased Enriched Uranium Stockpile

In this photo released by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, technicians work at the Arak heavy water reactor's secondary circuit, as officials and media visit the site, near Arak, Iran, Dec. 23, 2019.
In this photo released by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, technicians work at the Arak heavy water reactor’s secondary circuit, as officials and media visit the site, near Arak, Iran, Dec. 23, 2019.

The U.N. atomic watchdog said Wednesday it believes Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium that is highly enriched to one short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels.

The International Atomic Energy Agency also voiced increasing concerns over Tehran’s lack of engagement with a probe that has become a sticking point in efforts to revive the Islamic Republic’s nuclear deal with world powers.

In its confidential quarterly report, the IAEA told member nations that it believes Iran has an estimated 55.6 kilograms (122.6 pounds) of uranium enriched to up to 60% fissile purity, an increase of 12.5 kilograms since May.

That enrichment to 60% purity is one short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%. Nonproliferation experts have warned that Iran now has enough 60%-enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel for at least one nuclear bomb.

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