IAEA ‘regrets’ lack of Iranian cooperation; stockpile of 60% enriched uranium grows

Nuclear watchdog says ‘no progress’ has been made by Tehran on outstanding issues, including installing more cameras to monitor nuclear program

A handout picture made available by the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him (C) visiting an exhibition of the country's nuclear industry achievements in Tehran, on June 11, 2023, accompanied by the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami (R) (KHAMENEI.IR / AFP)
A handout picture made available by the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him (C) visiting an exhibition of the country's nuclear industry achievements in Tehran, on June 11, 2023, accompanied by the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami (R) (KHAMENEI.IR / AFP)

VIENNA — The UN nuclear watchdog said Monday it regretted that “no progress” had been made by Iran on outstanding issues, including installing more cameras to monitor Tehran’s nuclear program.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Rafael Grossi “requests Iran to work with the agency in earnest and in a sustained way towards the fulfillment of the commitments,” the agency said in a confidential report seen by AFP.

Tehran in March vowed to reactivate surveillance devices that were disconnected in June 2022 amid deteriorating relations with the West.

In a separate report, also seen by AFP, the IAEA said Iran’s total stockpile of enriched uranium was lower than in May but still more than 18 times the limit set in a 2015 accord between Tehran and world powers.

Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was estimated at 3,795.5 kilograms (8,367.7 pounds) as of August 19, down by 949 kilograms from May, the agency said.

The limit in the 2015 deal was set at 202.8 kilograms.

The stockpile of uranium enriched up to 60 percent is now at 121.6 kilos, up from 114.1 kilos in May.

Iran also has 535.8 kilos of uranium enriched up to 20 percent, up from 470.9 kilos in the last May report.

International Atomic Energy Organization, IAEA, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, center, and head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami arrive for a joint press conference in Tehran, Saturday, March 4, 2023. (AP/Vahid Salemi)

The landmark 2015 deal — curbing Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief — started to fall apart in 2018 when the US unilaterally withdrew from it and reimposed sanctions.

Efforts to revive it — bringing Washington back into the deal and scaling back Tehran’s program again — have been fruitless so far with European-led talks on hold since 2022.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington eased last month with the announcement of an agreement for Iran to release five American prisoners in exchange for the return of $6 billion in Iranian funds frozen in South Korea.

But the delicate agreement does not include the possibility of a return to the nuclear deal in the run-up to the 2024 US presidential election.

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