UN: Iran set to violate nuclear deal

Will Iran breach the nuclear deal again? The UN warns that they are on the verge of doing so.

The head of the United Nations (UN) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Monday that Iran is complying with obligations limiting uranium enrichment, but two diplomats say the agency has warned Tehran that unless it slows the process it could soon bust through its cap on material that could be used to make a nuclear bomb.

A nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers stipulates that Iran may possess only low-enriched uranium — which is not suitable for weapons — and no more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds) at any time. This amount is far less than would be required to make a nuclear weapon, even if it were further enriched to weapons-grade levels.

But even a slight violation of Iran’s enrichment commitments would be politically volatile at a time when the deal is on shaky ground. The incoming US administration wants the agreement renegotiated, and many American lawmakers oppose it altogether. Iran says it won’t renegotiate the deal and accuses the US of reneging on commitments to lift sanctions.

The two senior diplomats, whose main focus is Iran’s nuclear program, spoke only on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss confidential messages between the IAEA and Iran.

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Iran claims it is not interested in nuclear arms and that its vast nuclear program is meant for civilian and medical uses. Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, said after weekend talks with IAEA chief Yukiya Amano that his country would abide by the deal if other nations do as well.

An IAEA statement said Amano “stressed the vital importance of full implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments.” Asked whether he had concerns about Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, he told reporters that Tehran is within the limits — “for now.”

While Iran has generally kept its obligations since the deal was implemented in January, it has twice violated the agreement and exceeded the limit on stockpiles of heavy water, which cools reactors that can produce substantial amounts of plutonium. The plutonium can be applied to making the fissile core of nuclear warheads.

Israel has repeatedly warned the world that Iran has no intention of curbing its nuclear weapons program and will do all it can to circumvent the deal and obtain an atomic bomb.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff