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Iran not producing weapon-grade uranium: IAEA

Atul Aneja

DUBAI: Iran has not converted the low-grade uranium that it has produced into weapon-grade uranium, inspectors belonging to the International Atomic Energy Agency have said.

The Austrian Press Agency quoted an IAEA expert as saying that the uranium substances that Iran has produced at its Natanz enrichment facility have been carefully recorded and remote cameras have been installed to supervise part of the stockpile.

“If the Iranians intend to transport these uranium substances to a secret location for further processing, agency’s inspectors will find out,” he said.

The expert added that “so far, Iran has carried out good cooperation with us in relevant verifications”.

IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei has said that Iran has slowed down its uranium enrichment programme. He made this observation while submitting a report to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday. Iran has reportedly added only 164 centrifuges (which are used for enrichment) since December last, a comparatively slower rate than in the past.

The IAEA report said that Iran had so far produced around 1,000 kg. of low-enriched uranium.

Iran has denied accusations by the United States and its allies that it has been engaged in a clandestine nuclear weapons programme.

Iran has continued with its uranium enrichment activities which it stresses only have a peaceful orientation.

The report notes that Iran has not stopped uranium enrichment activity despite imposition of sanctions by U.N. Security Council.

The Security Council has demanded that Iran must suspend all uranium enrichment as a first step to allow negotiations to commence.

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