Iran Reports IAEA Officials in Tehran to Resolve Nuclear Ambiguities

Iran nuclear official says 84% particles 'normal'

Iran’s Foreign Ministry reports that IAEA officials are in Tehran for ongoing talks to resolve questions and ambiguities created by a UN inspector. The situation involves the discovery of 84% purity uranium particles, the “highest” level putatively found in Iran, and well above the 60% purity level to which Iran admits enriching.

While media are making a big deal about 84% being “almost” weapons grade, which is above 90%, the IAEA reacted fairly modestly, suggesting that the few particles may have been created during configuration of enrichment centrifuges.

It seems the resolution of the question is going easily as well, with Iranian nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi reporting that the finding of such particles as part of the enrichment process is perfectly “normal.”

Even expected findings can lead to problems with international responses to Iran’s nuclear program. This could have easily been spun to be a stepping up of the level of enrichment, even though Iran has never given any indication of seeking to enrich above a 60% level.

Such spin leads to a lot of tiresome panic, but it may be even more noteworthy this time that the IAEA took the finding at face value and sought more information instead of flying off the handle. Iran seems more than able to resolve the questions, and this might be the start of a new period of cooperation for all sides.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.