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Iran's Enriched Uranium Stockpile 12 Times Higher Than 2015 Limit, Says UN Watchdog


Iranian technicians work at a facility that produces uranium fuel, near the city of Isfahan. (file photo)

Iran keeps increasing its stockpile of low-enriched uranium far beyond the limits set in a landmark nuclear agreement with world powers and continues to enrich it to a higher purity than allowed, the UN's atomic watchdog agency said on November 11.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in its quarterly report seen by the media that Iran, as of November 2, had a stockpile of 2,442.9 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, up from 2,105.4 kilograms reported on August 25.

The 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China, and Russia, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, allows Tehran to only keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms.

The IAEA reported that Iran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of up to 4.5 percent, higher than the 3.67 percent allowed under the JCPOA.

The IAEA also said that Iran's explanations for the presence of nuclear material at an undeclared site in the country were "not credible."

Although Iranian authorities provided some information about the site, "the agency informed Iran that it continues to consider Iran's response to be not technically credible," the report said.

"A full and prompt explanation from Iran regarding the presence of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin... at a location in Iran not declared to the Agency, is needed," it added.

While the IAEA has not identified the site in question, diplomatic sources have indicated that it is in the Turquzabad district of Tehran.

The report did not provide any new details about two other locations where the IAEA took samples in September and where undeclared nuclear activity may have taken place in the early 2000s.

The analysis of those samples is ongoing.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa
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