Sunday, June 23, 2024

Iran’s nuclear head denies enriching uranium to 84% purity

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami has rejected allegation that the country is enriching uranium to 84 percent purity. He asserted that there has been “no deviation” in the Islamic Republic’s peaceful nuclear activities.

Eslami made the remarks on Wednesday, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a confidential quarterly report that it had detected particles of uranium enriched to 83.7 percent during an inspection of the Fordow nuclear facility on January 22.

“Regarding the 84% particle, which was a sample from the side of a tap in the process, the particle cannot be even seen with a microscope. What is important is the amount of material that is stored after production,” he explained.

Eslami further stated that the IAEA inspectors “observed the material that had come out of the process and found that its purity was not more than 60%.”

“Our production line is 60%. They (the inspectors) also mentioned in their report that our production is 60%,” he added.

Also in its report, the IAEA announced “discussions are still ongoing” between the agency and Iran to determine the origin of the suspected particles.

Eslami noted that the discussions concluded that there was no specific deviation in Iran’s nuclear program.

“Over the past two weeks, IAEA delegations traveled to Tehran, where they reviewed the cases regarding the non-compliance of the statement on centrifuges design and the declared particle. Expert discussions and visits … wrapped up and it was found that there is no specific deviation,” he continued.

Iran’s nuclear chief said that the upcoming visit to Tehran by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi could potentially help break the stalemate in the talks aimed at reviving the US-abandoned 2015 nuclear deal.

Negotiations were already held with the IAEA deputy director general Massimo Aparo, Eslami further stated, adding that Grossi will travel to Tehran in the next day or two to review the remaining issues.

Iran showed to the world the peaceful nature of its nuclear program by signing the JCPOA with six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — in 2015. However, Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in May 2018 and its subsequent re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran left the future of the deal in limbo.

Negotiations between the parties to the deal kicked off in Vienna in April 2021 in a bid to salvage the JCPOA.

The discussions, however, have been at a standstill since August 2022 due to Washington’s refusal to remove the sanctions and offer guarantees that it will not exit the agreement again.

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