Iran Increases its Stockpile of Highly Enriched Uranium
Iran said on Thursday, November 4, it has significantly increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, in an announcement that comes ahead of the resumption of talks on its return to the 2015 deal with world powers.
"We have more than 210 kilograms (463 pounds) of uranium enriched to 20 percent, and we've produced 25 kilos (55 pounds) at 60 percent, a level that no country apart from those with nuclear arms are able to produce," said Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi, according to the IRNA news agency.
In August, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran has established a process to accelerate the production of highly enriched uranium at its Natanz enrichment plant.
The move brought Iran closer to the 90 percent purity level needed for use in a nuclear weapon.
Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal it signed with world powers because US President Donald Trump and the GOP withdrew from the agreement in May of 2018. In April, the Islamic Republic announced it would begin enriching uranium to 60% purity, a move that would take the uranium much closer to the 90% suitable for a nuclear bomb.
Despite its scaling back of its compliance with the deal, the previous Iranian government, headed by former President Hassan Rouhani, had been holding indirect talks with the Biden administration on a return to the agreement.
However, the negotiations were adjourned on June 20, two days after Ebrahim Raisi won Iran's presidential election. On Wednesday, November 3, an Iranian diplomat said that the negotiations will restart on November 29 in Vienna. (INN / VFI News)