Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Iran Rolls Back Uranium Stockpile Over Weapons Fears
Iran is moving to eliminate more of the uranium it could most easily refine into nuclear-bomb material, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday.
Inspectors last week confirmed that Iran had fed nearly 670 pounds of its 20 percent-enriched uranium-hexafluoride gas into a system at its Isfahan facility for producing solid oxide, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in quarterly safeguards report. The action was in line with a short-term deal the Persian Gulf power reached other governments over fears that it was pursuing an ability to build nuclear bombs.
The country has long insisted its nuclear program is peaceful, but last year agreed to make the 20 percent-enriched uranium harder to use in nuclear weapons. It has already completed plans to blend down half of the stockpile and, on Friday, agency inspectors said efforts to convert the other half into oxide were "ongoing."
Addressing concerns that Iran may be able to return the oxide to its gaseous form, IAEA officials noted that the conversion system at Isfahan contained "no process line ... for the reconversion of uranium oxides into [uranium hexafluoride]."
Iran is pursuing negotiations with six other countries -- China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- on a potential long-term replacement for the interim nuclear accord reached last November. The temporary arrangement is due to expire on July 20.
Note to our Readers
GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.
Feb. 24, 2015
Feb. 19, 2015
The Nuclear Disarmament Resource Collection contains information and analysis of nuclear weapons disarmament proposals and progress worldwide, including detailed coverage of disarmament progress in countries who either possess or host other countries' nuclear weapons on their territories.
This article provides an overview of Iran's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.