Iran to buy hundreds of tons of uranium and to seek Russia’s help to make nuclear fuel

iran nuclear
File photo : A report in late November 2020 from the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that Iran now has more than 12 times the amount of enriched uranium permitted under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. It now has a stockpile of more than 2,442 kilograms, or over 5,385 pounds, of low-enriched uranium. That is enough to produce about two nuclear weapons, according to an analysis of the report by the Institute for Science and International Security. But it would require several months of additional processing to enrich the uranium to bomb-grade material, meaning that Iran would not be close to a bomb until late spring at the earliest . Iran has been trying to pressure Biden into rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) without pre-condition but top administration officials are in no hurry and consider Iran’s pressure sort of a blackmail
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iran nuclearIran plans to buy 950 tonnes of uranium ore from Kazakhstan over three years and expects to get Russian help in producing nuclear fuel, its top nuclear official said in remarks published on Saturday.

The acquisition would not violate Iran’s landmark 2015 deal with world powers over its disputed nuclear program as the deal did not set limits on the Islamic Republic’s supplies of uranium ore.

The report by the Iranian Students’ News Agency ISNA comes a day after the U.N. atomic watchdog said Iran’s official stock of enriched uranium had fallen by half after large amounts stuck in pipes was recategorised as unrecoverable under a process agreed with the major powers.

“About 650 tonnes is to be delivered in two shipments over two years and 300 tonnes during the third year and this shipment is to be returned to Kazakhstan (after enrichment),” Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told ISNA in an interview.

Iran has asked a body overseeing its 2015 nuclear accord with world powers to approve the purchase of uranium ore and was still awaiting Britain’s agreement, Salehi said.

“Five of the members of the committee overseeing the (nuclear deal) have given their written approval, but Britain changed its mind at the last moment, considering the U.S. elections and Middle East problems,” Salehi said, without elaborating.

There was no immediate reaction from Britain to the report.

“In nuclear talks … we reached a final agreement on jointly producing nuclear fuel with Russia,” Salehi said. “We asked for their help in this regard… and it was agreed for the Russians to give us advisory help.”

The nuclear agreement brokered by Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United States lifted sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.

 

REUTERS

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