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Monday, February 6, 2017

Iran's uranium stockpile to go up 60%

Iran's nuclear chief said Sunday that his country will have 60 percent more stockpiled uranium than it did prior to the 2015 agreement with world powers after a shipment expected later this week, reports The Associated Press.

Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as saying that Iran will receive a final batch of 149 tons of natural uranium by Tuesday, in addition to 210 tons already delivered since early 2016.

Under the nuclear agreement Iran signed with world powers, its import of uranium is supervised by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Last month it was reported that Iran would receive 130 tons of natural uranium from Russia as compensation for exporting tons of reactor coolant – a move that was carried out with the approval of the other world powers that signed the deal.

Low-enriched uranium can be used for civilian applications, including power generation and medical research. Highly enriched uranium can be used in nuclear weapons, noted AP.

Since the implementation of the deal, Iran was found several times to have exceeded the amount of heavy water it is permitted to produce under the agreement. The IAEA determined that those violations were minor.

In September, the IAEA indicated that Iran had kept to the nuclear deal to which it agreed with six world powers, which limits its stockpiles of substances that could be used to make atomic weapons.