Iran FM: Uranium Stockpile Growth Doesn’t Violate Nuclear Deal

US demands Iran end all civilian enrichment of uranium

Iranian state media confirmed on Monday that the nation’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium has exceeded 300  kg. This was long seen as the stockpile cap, albeit one Iran has pointed out for months is an entirely voluntary cap at this point.

The cap’s voluntary nature was reiterated today by Iranian FM Javad Zarif, who noted that the slight increase above the limit was not a violation of the P5+1 nuclear deal, and that Iran had a right to revise voluntary measures after the US withdrew from the deal.

Iran enriches uranium to 3.6%, the level needed for fuel for the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Weapons-grade uranium must be enriched over 90%, which Iran has never even attempted to do, and which given current safeguards with the IAEA they could not do without a lot of advanced notice.

Unsurprisingly, the one nation really angry at all of this is the United States, who having already withdrawn from the nuclear deal isn’t really in a position to argue about how things are enforced anyhow. President Trump accused them of “playing with fire.”

Other US officials declared the stockpile increase a definite violation, presenting it as vindication for withdrawing from the deal over a year ago. The State Department insisted that the only acceptable move now would be for Iran to permanently halt all civilian enrichment of uranium.

That’s clearly not going to happen. Shutting down civilian enrichment would set back Iran’s production for a long time, and no one who is still a party to the nuclear deal is even suggesting such a move.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.