Iran complying with nuclear deal

Iran has stayed within key limits on its nuclear activities imposed by a 2015 deal with world powers but is close to once again breaching a ceiling on its stock of one chemical, a report by the UN atomic watchdog showed today.

The report was the second since the January inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has called the pact between six powers and Iran “the worst deal ever negotiated” and branded Tehran an enemy in contrast with his predecessor Barack Obama.

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Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium as of 27 May was 79.8 kilogrammes, well below a 202.8-kilogramme limit, and the level of enrichment did not exceed a 3.67 per cent cap – well under the maximum five per cent regarded as suitable for civilian energy uses, the International Atomic Energy said in a confidential report sent to member states and seen by Reuters.

Iran’s stock of heavy water, a chemical used as a moderator in a type of nuclear reactor that can produce plutonium, was 128.2 tonnes on 16 May, just below a 130-tonne limit, the IAEA report said.

Tehran has already breached that limit twice since the deal was put in place, prompting the IAEA to express “concerns” and drawing rebukes from Washington and other Western powers. The deal calls for any excess amount to be sold to a foreign buyer, and Iran has shipped the surplus to Oman while it looks for one.