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US Expects Reduction in LEU Stocks

US Expects Reduction in LEU Stocks US Expects Reduction in LEU Stocks

The United States expects Iran to reduce its stockpile of low enriched uranium to the levels required under an interim nuclear deal by a June 30 deadline, the US State Department said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

"If they don't, that'll be a problem," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at her daily briefing, saying the Iranians had always gotten to the prescribed levels under interim nuclear deals. "We expect that they will."

Under an interim nuclear pact struck in November 2013 and renewed the following year, every six months Iran is obliged to reduce its stockpile of low enriched uranium (LEU) that is enriched to a purity of up to five percent, to a maximum of about 7,650 kg.

According to the latest report of the UN nuclear watchdog, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has about 8,714.7 kg of low enriched uranium.

Harf said Iran's LEU stockpile had gone up and down and but that it had always gotten back to the 7,650 level by previous deadlines, as required.

The New York Times, which on Tuesday reported on Iran's having increased, rather than decreased, its stockpile of LEU in recent months, said the rise posed a major diplomatic and political challenge to the United States.

Harf denied this was an obstacle in talks between Iran and six big powers, including the United States. "It's not," she said flatly.

The seven nations are seeking to negotiate a deal by a June 30 deadline under which Iran would accept temporary restrictions on its nuclear activities in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

 

Financialtribune.com