UN: Iran slashes highly-enriched nuclear stock

2014-04-17 19:50


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Vienna - Iran has cut its stock of highly-enriched uranium by 75%, a new report by the UN's nuclear watchdog revealed on Thursday.

The monthly update by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), seen by AFP, showed Tehran remained in compliance with a November interim deal made with world powers, drawn up as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to Iran's controversial nuclear drive.

Under the agreement, Iran pledged to "dilute" half of its highly-enriched uranium by mid-April, with the rest to be converted by mid-July.

The IAEA report also said that progress on a plant in Tehran that will be used for the conversion of low-enriched uranium had been delayed, but that Iran had said this will not prevent it from fulfilling its part of the deal by the 20 July deadline.

Diplomats who saw the document told AFP everything was in order.

The international community was "keeping an eye" on progress at the conversion plant in Tehran, one of the diplomats added.

Under the November deal, Iran agreed to freeze parts of its nuclear activities, including limiting enrichment. Enriching uranium can be part of a peaceful atomic drive but can also produce weapons-grade material for a bomb.

Tehran has consistently said its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes only, while the West believes it has a military dimension.

Iran and six world powers - the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - will next meet on 13 May in a bid to draw up a lasting accord and end the decade-old standoff over Iran's nuclear programme.

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