Iran begins process to make enriched uranium metal, draws criticism from US, European powers

7th July,2021

Iran begins process to make enriched uranium metal, draws criticism from US, European powers


Iran has began the process of manufacturing enriched uranium metal, according to the UN's nuclear inspector, a move that may boost its nuclear weapons development and endanger discussions to resurrect the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, according to three European nations. Iran's actions, which were revealed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and which Tehran said were aimed at developing fuel for a research reactor, were also criticised by the US, which described them as a "unfortunate step backwards." "Today, Iran informed the Agency that UO2 (uranium oxide) enriched up to 20% U235 would be shipped to the Fuel Fabrication Plant's R&D laboratory in Esfahan, where it would be converted to UF4 (uranium tetrafluoride) and then to uranium metal enriched to 20% U235 before being used to manufacture the fuel," according to an IAEA statement. According to a classified IAEA assessment obtained by Reuters, Iran has started measures to begin the process of manufacturing enriched uranium metal. On Tuesday, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany expressed "grave worry" over Iran's move, which is in violation of the nuclear deal, technically known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). "Iran has no realistic civilian need for uranium metal R&D and production," they stated in a joint statement released by Britain's foreign office.