According to a media report, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have found uranium in Iran with a degree of purity that is just below that required to build a nuclear bomb, according to the Bloomberg news agency, citing two diplomatic sources. The uranium was enriched to 84 percent. Uranium enriched to around 90 percent is required to build atomic bombs.
Inspectors would need to determine whether Iran produced the material intentionally or whether the concentration was the result of unintentional accumulation, Bloomberg said. On Sunday, the IAEA only explained in the short message service Twitter that it was aware of the media report. The organization is holding talks with Iran about the "results of recent verification activities."
Iran itself denied the report on Monday. The Islamic Republic has not enriched uranium with a purity of more than 60 percent, said the spokesman for the national atomic energy agency, Behrus Kamalwandi, according to a report by the state news agency IRNA.
A threshold of 3.67 percent for uranium enrichment was agreed in 2015 in the international nuclear agreement with Iran, which is currently on hold. It was recently known that Tehran is producing uranium enriched to 60 percent, which is considerably more than provided for in the nuclear agreement.
Negotiations on reviving the international nuclear deal with Iran, which began in April 2021, have been stuck for months. The agreement was intended to limit Iran's nuclear program and ensure that the country would not build nuclear weapons. It was negotiated by the USA, China, Russia, Germany, France, Great Britain and Iran.
However, under the then US President Donald Trump, the US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and imposed new sanctions on Tehran. As a result, Iran also gradually withdrew from its obligations and restricted the inspections of its facilities by the IAEA.