Iran Nuclear Inspectors Find Uranium Enriched To 84% Purity
Bloomberg | #PRESS
International atomic monitors in Iran last week detected uranium enriched to levels just below that needed for a nuclear weapon, according to two senior diplomats, underscoring the risk that the country’s unrestrained atomic activities could prompt a new crisis.
The International Atomic Energy Agency is trying to clarify how Iran accumulated uranium enriched to 84% purity - the highest level found by inspectors in the country to date, and a concentration just 6% below what’s needed for a weapon. Iran had previously told the IAEA that its centrifuges were configured to enrich uranium to a 60% level of purity.
Inspectors need to determine whether Iran intentionally produced the material, or whether the concentration was an unintended accumulation within the network of pipes connecting the hundreds of fast-spinning centrifuges used to separate the isotopes. It’s the second time this month that monitors have detected suspicious enrichment-related activities.
A senior Iranian nuclear official denied Iran had enriched uranium beyond 60% purity “so far” and dismissed the development as “a smear and a distortion of the facts.”