IAEA: Iran’s Uranium Stockpile Within Limit Set by Nuclear Deal

VIENNA (Reuters) -
FILE - In this March 5, 2013, file photo, a view of the U.N. building with the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, office inside, at the International Center, in Vienna, Austria. Iran has agreed to cooperate with the U.N. in answering longstanding allegations about possible past work to develop nuclear weapons at its Parchin plant, but only with the Iranians conducting the inspections themselves. A draft of the Parchin document, as seen by The Associated Press, essentially cedes the Parchin inspection to Iran, allowing it to collect its own environmental samples on the site and carry out other work usually done by IAEA experts. The IAEA will be able to review the Iranians’ work after the fact. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)
A view of the U.N. building with the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, at the International Center, in Vienna, Austria. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)

Iran has stayed within the limits of a nuclear deal it reached with world powers last year on its stockpiles of uranium and heavy water, two chemicals that could be used for atomic bombs, the U.N. nuclear agency said on Friday.

In exchange for sanctions relief, Iran last July committed to keeping its reserve of low-enriched uranium below 300 kg (662 pounds) and its stock of heavy water, a non-radioactive product, at less than 130 metric tons.

“Throughout the reporting period, Iran had no more than 130 metric tonnes of heavy water …Iran’s total (low) enriched uranium stockpile did not exceed 300 kg,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a quarterly report on Iran.

The IAEA is in charge of verifying Iran’s compliance with the deal it reached with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

“There shouldn’t be any surprises for anyone. Iran continues to honor its commitments,” a senior diplomat said. “At this point in time it’s clearly below the 300 kg limit. It’s not close to making us nervous.”

In its last Iran report in February, the IAEA said Iran had briefly overstepped the limit for its heavy-water stock, but then came quickly back within the bounds of the deal. The breach did not worry diplomats.

In other news, moderate conservative Ali Larijani was reelected on Sunday as the temporary speaker of Iran’s new parliament which is dominated by first-term deputies.

Larijani, who had cooperated closely with the government of pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani in approving Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers last year, won 173 votes in the 290-seat assembly, state media reported.

Senior reformist Mohammad Reza Aref, who had been the top vote-getter in the parliamentary race in Tehran, received 103 votes, state media said.

A vote for a permanent speaker is due to be held in the next few days, after the full house approves the credentials of individual MPs, as required by Iran’s constitution.

Elected in February, the parliament replaced one dominated by hardliners suspicious of detente with the West and who curbed Rouhani’s plans to liberalize the economy and raise lackluster productivity. Pro-Rouhani candidates raised their representation and 60 percent of MPs are first-timers.