IAEA: Iran has accelerated uranium enrichment

According to UN atomic watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has accelerated its uranium enrichment to near weapons-grade.

Key Points

  • IAEA notes that, this move is raising tensions with the West because both the sides want to resume talks on reviving Tehran’s nuclear deal.
  • Iran has increased the purity of refining Uranium from 20 percent to 60 percent in the response to the explosion and power cut at its Natanz site.
  • Power cut and explosion have damaged output at the main underground enrichment plant. Iran blamed on Israel for this attack.
  • As per IAEA, weapons-grade is having the purity of 90 per cent.

Background

In May, IAEA reported that Iran was using one cascade of advanced centrifuges in order to enrich up to 60 per cent at its Natanz plant. Now, IAEA notes that, Iran is now using a second cascade for that purpose.

What are the concerns?

Iran breached the restrictions that was imposed under 2015 nuclear deal. 2015 deal had capped the purity to 3.67 percent.

Iran nuclear deal 2015

Iran nuclear deal framework was signed in 2015 between the Islamic Republic of Iran and world powers including the P5+1 and the European Union. On the basis of the deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and P5+1 & EU was announced in Vienna on July 14, 2015.

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Formal negotiations toward JCPOA started with the adoption of Joint Plan of Action, which was an interim agreement signed in 2013 between Iran and P5+1 countries.

P5+1 countries

It refers to five permanent members of United Nations security council namely China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States; plus Germany. It is also referred as E3+3 by European countries.

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