IAEA Chief Says Agency Has No Evidence Iran Covertly Enriches Uranium

22 Oct 2021

IAEA Chief Says Agency Has No Evidence Iran Covertly Enriches Uranium

October 22, 2021



WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi said during an interview with the Stimson Center that he does not have any information indicating Iran is covertly enriching uranium.

"I don’t have any information that they are doing so. Without that indication that they are doing so, I’m confident that I’m looking at all the places where they are enriching," Grossi said on Thursday. "I have very high confidence in the ability of my inspection system to know what is going on if we are allowed in to do that."

Late in May, the UN nuclear watchdog said that Iran failed to explain processed uranium traces found at several undeclared sites. In its quarterly report, the IAEA said that Iran was continuing to violate enrichment limits set by the 2015 nuclear accord, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The report also said that Iran had produced more than 5.2 lbs of nearly weapons grade uranium.

The JCPOA, which envisaged Iran limiting its nuclear program in exchange for other states lifting sanctions, has been under strain since the US withdrawal in 2018. After pulling out from the deal, the US restored sanctions against Iran.

Other parties to the deal have reiterated their commitment to it, and the new US administration has expressed readiness to return to the agreement. However, the JCPOA negotiations in Vienna have been in a deadlock for the past several months. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in October that Tehran will not negotiate unless the US takes the talks seriously.

Apart from Iran and the United States, the participants in the deal are China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.