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Nuclear watchdog: Iran slashing weapons-grade uranium stock

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano says Islamic Republic has reduced its 20-percent-enriched reactor supply as per deal with P5+1

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano. (photo credit: Ronald Zak/AP)
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano. (photo credit: Ronald Zak/AP)

VIENNA — Iran has cut its stock of uranium that is closest to atomic weapons-grade, the head of the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog said Sunday.

Under an interim deal with six world powers, Iran is to dilute half of its 20-percent-enriched uranium to a lower grade suitable for use as reactor fuel. Yukiya Amano told the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation board Monday that that process “has reached the halfway mark.”

The other half of the uranium is to be changed into a form that is relatively difficult to reconvert to 20 percent.

“The measures implemented by Iran, and the further commitments it has undertaken, represent a positive step forward, but much remains to be done to resolve all outstanding issues,” he said, according to a transcript of his speech.

Uranium enriched to 20 percent is only a technical step away from the 90-percent level needed for weapons.

Tehran denies wanting nuclear arms but has agreed to temporarily curb atomic work in exchange for sanctions relief as the sides work on a fuller deal.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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