Iran has exceeded the limit on the amount of enriched uranium in its stockpile set out in the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog has confirmed.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday that its inspectors had verified the 300kg cap had been breached.
“We can confirm that IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has informed the Board of Governors that the Agency verified on 1 July that Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile exceeded [the deal’s limit],” an IAEA spokesman said in a statement.
The announcement came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the semi-official ISNA news agency earlier on Monday that Iran had “crossed the 300-kilogramme limit”.
Zarif later said Iran’s accumulation of more enriched uranium than permitted under the deal was not a violation of the pact, however, since it was exercising its right to respond to a unilateral US withdrawal from the agreement last year, after which Washington reimposed punishing sanctions on Tehran.
“We have NOT violated the #JCPOA,” Zarif said in a Twitter post, referring to the nuclear deal by its formal title, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Para 36 of the accord illustrates why. We triggered & exhausted para 36 after US withdrawal. We gave E3+2 a few weeks while reserving our right. We finally took action after 60 weeks. As soon as E3 abide by their obligations, we’ll reverse,” he added.
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