UN: Iran increasing uranium enrichment purity, quantities

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The UN’s atomic watchdog says its inspectors have confirmed that Iran has started enriching uranium up to 20 per cent purity, a technical step away from weapons-grade levels.

It’s the latest in a string of violations of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in a confidential document distributed to member countries and seen by The Associated Press Tuesday that as of Feb. 16, Iran had added 17.6 kilograms (38.8 pounds) of uranium enriched to 20 per cent to its stockpile.

Overall, it increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to 2,967.8 kilograms (6,542.9 pounds), up from 2,442.9 kilograms (5,385.7 pounds) reported on November 2.

The nuclear deal signed in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms (447 pounds).

It also allows enrichment only up to 3.67 per cent.

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