Iran has enough uranium to make a nuclear bomb after TRIPLING its stockpile, UN nuke watchdog reveals – The Sun

IRAN has nearly tripled its stockpile of enriched uranium since November and now has enough to make a nuclear weapon, it’s been revealed.

The hardline country is powering ahead with its nuke programme at three sites in the country, a confidential report by the UN atomic watchdog agency concludes.

In June Iran declared it intended to smash the strict uranium limits set under the nuclear deal it struck with the world's leading powers.

The shock statement is another blow to a pact already crumbling since the US’s high-profile withdrawal.

Now the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed Iran has been true to its word in a confidential report distributed to member countries that was seen by The Associated Press.

The agency said as of February, Iran's total stockpile of low-enriched uranium amounted to 11.1 tons, compared to 372.3 kilograms in November.


It has identified three locations in Iran where the country possibly stored undeclared nuclear material or undertook nuclear-related activities without declaring it to international observers. 

The current stockpile puts Iran within reach of the amount needed to produce a nuclear weapon, which it insists it doesn't want to do.

The nuclear deal that Iran signed in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms.

The JCPOA promised Iran economic incentives in return for the curbs on its nuclear program.

But since President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal unilaterally in 2018, Iran has been slowly violating the deal's restrictions. 

With the violations, Tehran has said it hopes to put pressure on the other nations involved to increase economic incentives to make up for hard-hitting sanctions imposed by Washington after the American withdrawal.

Deal or no deal – What was the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and what has happened to it?

BROKERED by the Obama White House and signed by seven world powers, the Iran nuclear deal aimed to reduce the country's ability to produce nuclear weapons.

However, Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal earlier this year – branding it "horrible" and "one-sided".

Iran has also pledged to breach the agreement until it receives the sanctions relief it says it is owed.

The deal was an agreement between the Islamic Republic and a group of world powers aimed at scrapping the Middle Eastern country's nuclear weapons programme.

It saw Iran agree to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium by 98 per cent.

Enriched uranium is a critical component for making nuclear weapons and in nuclear power stations and by curbing the amount Iran produce is a way to curb the number of weapons produced.

As part of the agreement, Iran also agreed to only enrich their uranium up to 3.67 per cent over the next 15 years and they agreed to reduce their gas centrifuges for 13 years.

Gas centrifuges are used to separate different types of uranium which allows specific types to then be used to manufacture nuclear weapons or generators.

Iranian nuclear facilities were limited to a single facility with only first-generation centrifuges for 10 years and other nuclear facilities had to be converted into other use.

In addition, they were barred from building any more heavy-water faculties – a type of nuclear reactor which uses heavy water (deuterium oxide) as a coolant to maintain temperatures in the reactor.

Also under the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency was granted regular access to all Iranian nuclear facilities to ensure Iran maintains the deal.

If Iran abided by the deal it was promised relief from the US, European Union, and the United Nations Security Council on all nuclear-related economic sanctions.

The agreement was reached on July 14, 2015, and the world powers signed it in Vienna.

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