U.N. Watchdog: Iran Sticks to Key Limits of Nuclear Deal

VIENNA (Reuters) -
An Iranian technician works at the Uranium Conversion Facility just outside the city of Isfahan, south of the capital Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Iran has remained within the essential limits on its nuclear activities imposed by its 2015 deal with six world powers, a report by the U.N. atomic watchdog showed on Monday.

The report was the first since President Donald Trump, who has called the 2015 agreement between Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union “the worst deal ever,” decertified Iran’s compliance last month. His move did not constitute a U.S. exit from the accord.

Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium as of Nov. 5 was 96.7 kg (213.2 pounds), well below a 202.8-kg limit, and the level of enrichment did not exceed a 3.67 percent cap, according to the confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report sent to IAEA member states and seen by Reuters.

Iran’s stock of so-called heavy water, a moderator used in a type of reactor that can produce plutonium, a potential nuclear bomb fuel, stood at 114.4 metric tons, below a 130-ton limit agreed upon by the parties to the deal.

The 3.67 percent enrichment and 202-kg stockpile limit on uranium, and the 130-ton cap on heavy water, aim to ensure that Iran does not amass enough material of sufficient fissile purity to produce a nuclear bomb. Such a device requires uranium to be refined to around 90 percent purity.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told Reuters in September he would welcome clarification from the powers on how the agency should monitor Iran’s implementation of the so-called Section T of the nuclear pact that deals with certain technologies that could be used to develop an atom bomb.

Russia had been critical of the agency’s monitoring of Section T provisions, but Monday’s report said the IAEA had verified Iran’s commitment to the section.