Iran planning expansion of uranium capacity – UN nuclear watchdog
The United Nations (UN) nuclear watchdog has confirmed that the Islamic Republic of Iran is enriching uranium to 60% at the Fordow nuclear site.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said that Iran is also planning a massive expansion of its enrichment capacity. Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) is an underground uranium enrichment facility in the Islamic Republic.
On Tuesday, Iran also said that it had started to enrich uranium to 60% at the Fordow plant. Earlier, nonproliferation experts warned that Iran has enough 60% enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel for at least one nuclear bomb.
However, Iran has always denied any intention to develop a nuclear bomb. The country has always said that nuclear activities are for civilian purposes.
This comes as talks have stalled to revive the 2015 landmark deal or JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) that curbed Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
Germany, France and Britain also condemned Iran’s latest action to further expand its nuclear programme. The joint statement by the three countries read, “We will continue to consult, alongside international partners, on how best to address Iran’s continued nuclear escalation.”
Earlier, the IAEA director general, Rafael Grossi, expressed concern over manmade uranium particles found at three undeclared sites in the Islamic Republic. Grossi said that Iran did not engage with the agency’s inquiry into the matter. The issue has already affected the talks for a landmark nuclear deal.
The 2015 nuclear deal was signed by the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union (EU) and Iran.
Last week, a resolution was passed by the IAEA. The resolution called for Iran’s cooperation with an investigation by the agency over the issue of manmade uranium particles found at three undeclared sites in the country.