No Plan to Reduce Enriched Uranium Stock
A diplomat denied reports that a cleanup plan at the Natanz facility will bring Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium below a cap mentioned in the nuclear agreement with world powers, saying residue from the process will be exempted from the 300-kg limit on Iran's enriched uranium.
In comments on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi rejected a report by the Wall Street Journal that Iran has agreed after discussions with the P5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain and France, plus Germany) to push its stockpile of enriched uranium far below the 300-kilogram cap fixed in the deal.
The report claimed that Iran has agreed to a plan that would see the mothballed Natanz nuclear facility in central Iran cleaned out, with the enriched uranium flushed out of the pipes and degraded. It has also estimated the enriched uranium stuck in the pipes and machinery at the plant at 100 kilograms when the nuclear deal was concluded in 2015.
The WSJ said that after flushing out all the enriched uranium, Iran's stockpile of the material would likely fall under 200 kilograms.
However, the Iranian deputy foreign minister clarified on Tuesday that the enriched material flushed out of the pipes after the cleanup plan will be exempted from the 300-kg limit on the enriched uranium stockpile, stressing that as a result, Iran will be able to enrich more material, Tasnim News Agency reported.
Araqchi underlined that the new measure passed by the Joint Commission—a group tasked with monitoring parties' commitments under the nuclear deal—was a result of months of expert talks.