UN Watchdog begins discussions with Iran after reported Nuclear enrichment

TEHRAN: The UN’s nuclear watchdog on Sunday said it was in discussions with Iran after a media report said inspectors had found that the Islamic republic had stepped up nuclear enrichment.
Bloomberg News reported that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors found uranium enriched to 84 percent purity in Iran last week.
Iran has been enriching uranium to up to 60 percent purity since April 2021. Three months ago, it started enriching to that level at a second site, Fordow, which is dug into a mountain. Weapons grade is around 90 percent, Reuters reported recently. The report comes as negotiations to revive a landmark deal over Iran’s nuclear program have stalled.
“The IAEA is aware of recent media reports relating to uranium enrichment levels in Iran,” the Vienna-based agency wrote on Twitter.
It added that it was “discussing with Iran the results of recent agency verification activities and will inform the IAEA Board of Governors as appropriate.”
Iran started stepping up its nuclear activities in 2019, a year after the U.S., under then-President Donald Trump, pulled out of the landmark deal and reinstated sanctions.
The 2015 accord promised Iran sanctions relief in exchange for cutting back its nuclear program. Negotiations between world powers to return to the deal started in 2021 but have stalled since last year. Bloomberg said “inspectors need to determine whether Iran intentionally produced the material or whether the concentration was an unintended accumulation.” “It’s the second time this month that monitors have detected suspicious enrichment-related activities,” the report said.
–The Daily Mail-Global Times news exchange item