Iran has been adhering to a deal with world powers limiting its nuclear programme, the UN atomic watchdog said Friday, as diplomatic wrangling continues over the future of the accord.
The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran was still complying with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with global powers under which Tehran drastically scaled back its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.
The IAEA’s latest report showed that over the past three-month period, Iran’s stock of heavy water had risen from 122.8 to 124.8 metric tonnes and that it held 163.8kg of enriched uranium, up from 149.4kg in November.
Both levels are within the limits foreseen by the JCPOA.
President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal last May, reimposing US sanctions on Iran’s economy and lifeblood oil industry that were lifted under the 2015 agreement.
European powers that signed the deal – France, Britain and Germany – have sought to cushion the blow to Iran of those sanctions. They are setting up a new channel for non-dollar trade with Iran but diplomats say it will not be able to handle the big transactions Iran says it needs to keep the deal afloat.
Setting up that channel, however, has angered Washington for undermining its effort to choke Iran’s economy in response to Tehran’s ballistic missile programme and its influence on the wars in Syria and Yemen.
US Vice President Mike Pence last week called on those European powers to follow Washington in pulling out of the agreement despite their long-held position that the deal is worth keeping as long as Iran sticks to it. But European leaders rejected this.
The Islamic Republic has long said that it wants nuclear power only for purposes of civilian energy.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)