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The UN's nuclear watchdog says Iran has sharply increased its stockpile of enriched uranium amid talks to revive a 2015 agreement to curb Tehran's atomic program.
Several media outlets said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) noted in its latest confidential quarterly report on March 3 that Iran now has more than 33.2 kilograms of highly enriched uranium with a purity of up to 60 percent, a level which means it can quickly be processed to create weapons-grade material.
It takes around 25 kilograms of weapons-grade uranium, which is around 90 percent purity, to make an atomic bomb.
According to AP, the Vienna-based agency told members that it is still not able to verify Iran’s exact stockpile of enriched uranium due to the limitations that Tehran imposed on UN inspectors last year.
However, the agency said it estimates that as of February 19, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was 3,197.1 kilograms, an increase of 707.4 kilograms from the previous quarter.
Numerous rounds of talks including U.S. and Iranian negotiators have been held in the Austrian capital over the past year to reach a new agreement to replace a 2015 deal exchanging curbs on Iranian nuclear activities for sanctions relief.
Then-U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of that deal in 2018 and reinstated crippling sanctions against Iran, and Tehran subsequently fell out of compliance with some terms of the agreement.
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