Spokesman: Iran in Possession of 3.8 tons of Enriched N. Materials
TEHRAN (FNA)- Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said on Saturday that the size of the country's nuclear stockpile has increased to nearly 3,800kg of uranium, adding that the amount is increasing.
“It is obvious that enriched nuclear materials have been reserved in our country based on a plan,” Kamalvandi said in an interview with the Persian-language Tahlil Bazar website.
He added that before Iran’s decision to decrease its nuclear deal undertakings, the country had undertaken a 300kg ceiling for enriched uranium stockpile and export the surplus production, noting that after breaching the agreement by other parties, specially the US withdrawal, Iran suspended parts of its undertakings.
“Naturally, we boosted production of (enriched) materials and at present we are in possession of nearly 3,800kg of (enriched) materials which is increasing day by day,” Kamalvandi said.
His comments came after Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based International Organizations Kazzem Qaribabadi voiced surprise at a recent US complaint about the size of Iran's enriched uranium stockpile, saying that the current amount of enriched uranium in Iran is no more than one-third of its reserves before implementing the nuclear deal.
“Before the nuclear deal, Iran had three times more enriched uranium than the current size and 36 times more than the amount stated in the nuclear deal but it never diverted from peaceful activities,” Qaribabadi said on Sunday.
He added that the US cannot withdraw from the nuclear deal and at the same time expect Iran to remain committed to its undertakings based on the agreement, saying that it is ridiculous that a country like the US which has thousands of atomic warheads and has used it against innocent Japanese people is voicing concern about Iran which is committed to its undertakings under direct supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Qaribabadi said that Iran is cooperating with the IAEA to the highest levels and it is allowing one fifth of the UN nuclear watchdog’s inspections in all member states.
US President Donald Trump, a stern critic of the historic deal, unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism in an attempt to strangle the Iranian oil trade, but to no avail since its "so-called maximum pressure policy" has failed to push Tehran to the negotiating table.
In response to the US’ unilateral move, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions.
Tehran has particularly been disappointed with failure of the three European signatories to the JCPOA -- Britain, France and Germany -- to protect its business interests under the deal after the United States' withdrawal.
On January 5, Iran took a final step in reducing its commitments, and said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.