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About Iran's nuclear facilities
Rafael Grossi: ''Iran's uranium enrichment is approaching the possibility of military use''
15-03-2021 - Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the agency was trying to conduct more extensive inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, adding that "Iran's uranium enrichment is approaching the possibility of military use."
 "Uranium production at a higher level of enrichment brings Iran closer to levels that cannot be ignored for military use," Grossi told Asia Nikki on Friday (March 14th).
In January 2021, while suspending the implementation of the Additional Protocol on the possibility of rapid inspections and other monitoring measures, Iran told the Energy Agency that it intends to enrich uranium to a concentration of 20%.
"Iran weighs a little less than 20 kilograms [of 20 percent uranium], but they have 3,000 kilograms of enriched uranium, which has already been produced at lower levels," Rafael Grossi told Asia Nikki. 
So this rate is growing.  The 20% level is a significant amount.  "After this threshold, it becomes easier to enrich uranium to the right concentration to produce weapons."
The agency official described Iran's suspension of the Additional Protocol as an "extraordinary situation" and said: "It is clear that if you want to achieve reliable assurance that there is no military deviation, the need for a much stronger inspection is much needed."
The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency added that Iran is increasing its enrichment capabilities by using more equipment.
"I hope this three-month framework can provide an opportunity for diplomatic consultation and negotiation on a nuclear deal" Grossi, who traveled to Iran last month to pave the way for a deal to preserve freedom of inspection of nuclear sites.  "Iran has stopped providing 2015."
While the Biden administration has indicated a potential shift in its stance, the US and Iranian positions on the issue of what is needed to return to the agreement are far apart.  "Diplomacy with Iran is ongoing, not just directly at the moment," White House National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan told reporters Friday.
The IAEA will begin technical consultations with Iran in April.  One area of focus is the presence of uranium particles in the facility has not been announced.  Grossi said the Iranian side's response had so far been "not technically valid."
Earlier, in an interview with Euronews, Grossi expressed concern about "the sale or exit of part of this enriched uranium by Iran" and stressed that due to the nuclear activities that Iran has been doing since the 2015 agreement, it may return.  There is no agreement.
Last month, Britain, France and Germany withdrew a reprimand against Iran to give the IAEA Director General a chance to redouble his efforts to break the deadlock and resolve issues with Iran.
The US government has repeatedly stated in recent weeks that it will return to the UN Security Council on condition that Iran resumes its obligations under the agreement.
In this regard, last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, "If the United States returns to the nuclear deal, we will fulfill all our obligations in the UN Security Council."


Jhanger Alee Malah
 
  


 
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