U.N. Agency: Iran’s Key Uranium Stockpile Has Shrunk Under Nuclear Accord

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and Iranian technicians on Jan. 20 disconnect centrifuge equipment used to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity at Iran's Natanz facility. Iran's stockpile of the weapon-useful substance has decreased in size under an atomic accord with world powers, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Thursday.
National Journal
Diane Barnes
Feb. 20, 2014, 9:44 a.m.

Ir­an’s most closely watched urani­um sup­ply has dropped in size since Novem­ber, when the na­tion reached a land­mark nuc­le­ar deal with six world powers.

The coun­try’s quant­ity of 20 per­cent-en­riched urani­um — a ma­ter­i­al suited for po­ten­tial fast con­ver­sion in­to nuc­le­ar-weapon ma­ter­i­al — has fallen to 354 pounds, nearly one-fifth less than what it pos­sessed three months ago, the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency said in a quarterly in­spec­tions as­sess­ment. The find­ing came weeks after the im­ple­ment­a­tion on­set of a mul­ti­lat­er­al ac­cord that in­cluded a six-month freeze on Ir­an’s pro­duc­tion of the sub­stance.

Ir­an “ceased the pro­duc­tion” of 20 per­cent-en­riched urani­um hex­a­flu­or­ide gas on Jan. 20, when the deal took ef­fect, the U.N. nuc­le­ar watch­dog said in the re­port to its 35-na­tion gov­ern­ing board.

In ad­di­tion, the na­tion “began down­blend­ing some of what it had pro­duced” to lower-grade urani­um that would take longer to con­vert in­to bomb fuel, giv­ing out­side powers more time to re­spond if Tehran ever de­cided to tap its urani­um stocks for weapons de­vel­op­ment.

The United States its al­lies strongly doubt Ir­an’s as­ser­tions that it was pro­du­cing the sens­it­ive urani­um strictly for peace­ful use. They hope the half-year agree­ment will pave the way for longer-term re­stric­tions on Ir­an’s urani­um-en­rich­ment pro­gram and oth­er nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies.

The agency ad­ded that Ir­an is co­oper­at­ing with an in­tens­i­fied in­spec­tions re­gime es­tab­lished un­der the in­ter­im nuc­le­ar ac­cord, as well as with meas­ures un­der a sep­ar­ate U.N. probe in­to al­leg­a­tions of past weapon­iz­a­tion activ­it­ies.

What We're Following See More »
NO BATTLE OVER SEATTLE
SCOTUS Won’t Hear Appeal of Minimum-Wage Law
43 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a sweeping constitutional challenge to Seattle’s minimum wage law, in what could have been a test case for future legal attacks on similar measures across the country. In a one-line order, the justices declined to hear a case by the International Franchise Association and a group of Seattle franchisees, which had said in court papers that the city’s gradual wage increase to $15 discriminates against them in a way that violates the Constitution’s commerce clause."

Source:
DOWN TO THE WIRE
Sanders Looks to Right the Ship in Indiana
46 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton may have the Democratic nomination sewn up, but Bernie Sanders apparently isn't buying it. Buoyed by a poll showing them in a "virtual tie," Sanders is "holding three rallies on the final day before the state primary and hoping to pull off a win after a tough week of election losses and campaign layoffs." 

Source:
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION IN JUNE
DC to Release Draft Constitution as Part of Statehood Push
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"The New Columbia Statehood Commission—composed of five District leaders including Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, and D.C.'s congressional delegation—voted today to publicly release a draft of a new constitution for an eventual state next Friday, at the Lincoln Cottage." It's the first step in a statehood push this year that will include a constitutional convention in June and a referendum in November.

Source:
ALZHEIMER’S OUTCRY
Will Ferrell Bails on Reagan Movie
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Amid outcry by President Reagan's children, actor Will Ferrell has pulled out of a movie that makes light of Reagan's Alzheimer's disease. A spokesperson for Ferrell said, “The ‘Reagan’ script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means an ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project."

Source:
THE QUESTION
How Many Surveillance Requests Did the U.S. Spy Court Reject Last Year?
1 hours ago
THE ANSWER

Zero, out of 1,457 requests by the National Security Agency and the FBI.

Source:
×