Iran uranium stockpile breaches 2015 nuclear deal, state media report


Iran has breached the limit on the amount of enriched uranium it is allowed to hold, in violation of the nuclear deal it signed with the U.S. and other world powers in 2015, state-run IRNA reported Monday.

The news agency quoted foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as making the announcement Monday. The deal limited Iran to 300 kgs (661 pounds) of uranium enriched up to 3.67 %.

Iran warned on June 17 that it would soon breach the terms of the landmark agreement if the European signatories did not act to prevent tough sanctions being imposed by U.S. that stop foreign businesses from trading with Iran and buying its oil.

Stockpiling uranium is a necessary step to building nuclear weapons — although Iran has denied doing this.

Inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog later said they were verifying whether Iran had accumulated more enriched uranium than allowed under the deal.

“We are aware of the media reports related to Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU),” an International Atomic Energy Agency spokesman said. “Our inspectors are on the ground and they will report to headquarters as soon as the LEU stockpile has been verified.”

President Donald Trump is a longtime critic of what he called the “worst deal ever negotiated” and in 2018 announced the U.S. would be pulling out of the agreement, which was secured under the presidency of his predecessor Barack Obama.

There can now be multilateral sanctions against Iran, for breaching the terms of the 2015 agreement have been breached — although the deal was unlikely to be effective without American support.