UN Nuclear watchdog says can’t ensure ‘Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful’

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated on Wednesday that it was unable to guarantee the “peaceful” nature of the Iranian nuclear programme, claiming that there had been “no progress” in resolving concerns about the alleged past presence of nuclear material at unreported sites.

Citing a report that was seen by it, AFP reports that the UN’s nuclear watchdog said it was “not in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful”.

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The report also said that the agency’s director Rafael Grossi was “increasingly concerned that Iran has not engaged with the Agency on the outstanding safeguards issues during this reporting period and, therefore, that there has been no progress towards resolving them”.

This comes as the United States pushes for answers on the three undeclared nuclear sites. The IAEA too has been pressing Iran for answers, however, Tehran insists that the atomic agency conclude its probe in order to revive the 2015 deal.

Also read | EU talks of nuclear deal in ‘days’, Iran wants ‘stronger guarantees’

In a separate report released on Wednesday, the IAEA examined Iran’s June decision to turn off 27 cameras that allowed the agency’s inspectors to keep an eye on the nation’s nuclear activity.

The agency’s ability to guarantee the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme has been negatively impacted by the removal of the cameras, the report noted.

Also read | Haven’t got response from the US, says Iran over nuclear deal

The newest reports come as negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement remain in a stalemate after some headway was made last month.

Another recent IAEA report as reported by Reuters pointed out that Iran’s stock of uranium has been enriched to up to 60 per cent, much higher than the 3.67 per cent purity it was allowed under the 2015 connectt Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement, and much closer to the roughly 90 per cent that is weapons-grade. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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