Diplomat: Iran to Enrich More Nuclear Material with New Plan
January, 11, 2017 – 11:54
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A diplomat denied reports that a clean-up plan at the
Natanz facility will bring Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium below a cap
mentioned in a nuclear agreement with world powers, saying residue from the
process will be exempted from the 300-kg limit on Iran’s enriched uranium.
In comments on Tuesday, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi
rejected a report by The Wall Street Journal that Iran has agreed after
discussions with the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and
Germany) to push its stockpile of enriched uranium far below the
300-kilogram cap fixed in a 2015 nuclear agreement.
The report claimed that Iran has agreed to a plan that would see the
mothballed Natanz nuclear facility in central Iran cleaned out, with the
enriched uranium flushed out of the pipes and degraded. It has also
estimated the enriched uranium stuck in the pipes and machinery at the plant
at 100 kilograms when the nuclear deal was reached in 2015.
The WSJ has also announced that after flushing out all the enriched uranium,
Iran’s stockpile of the material would likely fall under 200 kilograms.
However, Araqchi made it clear on Tuesday that the enriched material flushed
out of the pipes after the clean-up plan will be exempted from the 300-kg
limit on the enriched uranium stockpile, stressing that as a result, Iran
will be able to enrich more material.
He also underlined that the new measure passed by the JCPOA Joint
Commission – a group tasked with monitoring commitments to the nuclear
deal – was a result of months of expert talks, saying Iran’s Foreign
Ministry will release a Persian translation of the decision on its website
Representatives from Iran, the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain,
France and Germany) and the European Union gathered in Vienna’s Palais
Coburg hotel on Tuesday to address Iran’s complaint about a US congressional
bill extending Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for ten years.
According to reports, the parties in the Tuesday talks have also agreed to
allow the export of natural uranium from Russia to Iran.