Iran produces uranium metal in violation of nuke deal — WSJ

The UN’s atomic agency says Iran has produced a small amount of uranium metal at a facility in Isfahan, in a further violation of the 2015 nuclear deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a confidential IAEA report.

Uranium metal can be used as a component in nuclear weapons. Iran had signed up to a 15-year ban on “producing or acquiring plutonium or uranium metals or their alloys” under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015 with world powers.

Iran previously told the UN nuclear watchdog that it was advancing research on uranium metal production, saying it is aimed at providing advanced fuel for a research reactor in Tehran.

In a joint statement last month, European foreign ministers warned there was no civilian use for the material.

“The production of uranium metal has potentially grave military implications,” said the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, the so-called E3, said.

An Iranian technician walks through the Uranium Conversion Facility just outside the city of Isfahan 255 miles (410 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, February 3, 2007. (Vahid Salemi/AP)
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