IAEA report claims Iran nuclear production expansion at standstill
Iran's president Hassan Rouhani at a press conference, in Tehran in early 2013. [timesofisrael]
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The U.N. nuclear agency stated in a report covering the period since Hassan Rouhani became president that Iran has seemingly halted a previously quick-moving expansion of its uranium enrichment capacity in the past three months.
The quarterly report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showed that Iran's stockpile of higher-grade enriched uranium had risen by about 5 percent to 196 kg since August. This stockpile has been under the scrutiny of Israel and the US. as repoerted by Reuters.
Two hundred and fifty kg are needed for a bomb but Iran kept its stockpiles below that number. Iran denies accusations from the West and Israeli accusations that it is intending to create nuclear weapons stating that it is enriching uranium for peaceful energy only.
This is the first quarterly IAEA report available since Rouhani took office on August 3, prompting an opening in discussions between Iran and six other world powers. It has proven to be a beginning to a possible progression towards ending a standoff over its nuclear activity.
The IAEA said Iran had installed only four first-generation centrifuges. These are the machines used to refine uranium at the Natanz plant. There are other centrifuges to account for but not all of them are being used at this time.
Rouhani has promised to attempt to settle the historical nuclear dispute and secure a lightening of sanctions that have severely damaged Iran's oil-dependent economy.
(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Mark Heinrich)