Iran expands stockpiles of enriched uranium
The UN's atomic watchdog agency says Iran continues to increase its stockpiles of enriched uranium, in violation of limitations set in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported 4 September 2020 in a confidential document distributed to member countries that Iran as of Aug. 25 had stockpiled 2,105.4 kilograms (2.32 tons) of low-enriched uranium, up from 1,571.6 kilograms (1.73 tons) last reported on May 20.
- Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia. Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, it allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms (447 pounds).
- The IAEA reported that Iran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of up to 4.5%, higher than the 3.67% allowed under the JCPOA.
- It says Iran's stockpiles of heavy water has decreased and is now back within the JCPOA limits.
- The nuclear deal promised Iran economic incentives in return for the curbs on its nuclear program.
- President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal unilaterally in 2018, saying it needed to be renegotiated.
- Iran has since slowly violated the restrictions to try and pressure the remaining nations to increase the incentives to offset new, economy-crippling U.S. sanctions.