Iran denies ‘slander’ that it has enriched uranium to near weapons-grade 84% purity

Iran denies the report that it has enriched uranium up to 84%, just below the 90% needed to produce an atomic bomb, according to state media.

The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Behruz Kamalvandi, describes yesterday’s report by Bloomberg as “slander” and a “distortion of the facts,” according to state news agency IRNA.

“The presence of a particle or particles of uranium above 60 percent in the enrichment process does not mean enrichment above 60 percent,” he adds.

A diplomat outside Iran meanwhile confirms to AFP the figures reported in the Bloomberg report, saying: “The percentage is correct.”

The IAEA is “giving Iran the opportunity to explain because it’s apparently possible that there can be so-called ‘spikes’ of higher levels of enrichment,” the diplomat says.

Iran was last known to have enriched uranium up to 60 percent. Uranium enriched up to 90 percent purity is considered nuclear weapons-grade.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani says his country is “committed” to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its safeguards agreement with the IAEA. He warns against the politicization of the role of the UN nuclear watchdog, saying it “distorts its position.”

“The agency should act within the framework of specialized tasks,” he adds.

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