IAEA Confirms Iran Enriching Uranium Over Nuclear Deal Limit

Iran may further scale back commitments without a deal

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed on Monday that Iran has begun enriching uranium above the level agreed to by the 2015 P5+1 nuclear deal. Iran had already confirmed they were increasing enrichment to this level.

Iran has been paring back its commitments, initially voluntary ones and since more formal ones, related to the nuclear deal. These moves are being done to try to bring European Union nations to follow through on sanctions relief, with Iran emphasizing that the moves are easily reversible.

Under the deal, Iran enriches to 3.67%, which is the level used to fuel the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Iran’s increase is up to 5%, which is no proliferation threat, but rather a move to try to get European officials to the table for talks.

European officials, particularly France, have indicated those talks are now scheduled. Barring a deal, Iran has warned they will further abandon commitments in another 60 days.

Iran’s argument is that the deal promised Iran sanctions relief in return for limiting their civilian nuclear program, and Iran has been limiting that program the whole time without getting the relief. Patience is running out in Iran, and the sense is that they need to get something out of this deal to stay in it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.