Iran’s Uranium Stocks Could Grow Under Nuclear Accord

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 22, 2014, 8:12 a.m.

Ir­an might briefly ac­cu­mu­late more low-en­riched urani­um un­der new lim­its, as it still can­not change the ma­ter­i­al to a less bomb-suit­able form, Re­u­ters re­ports.

En­voys and ana­lysts said there is no im­me­di­ate cause for alarm over a pos­sible short-term boost in the stocks un­der Ir­an’s ac­cord with the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many.

One dip­lo­mat, though, pre­dicted care­ful glob­al scru­tiny of Ir­an’s pre­par­a­tions to turn its gaseous urani­um in­to sol­id ox­ide.

A site for car­ry­ing out that task was sched­uled to enter tri­als last month, and then to launch “im­me­di­ately after” vet­ting was com­plete, ac­cord­ing to an In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency safe­guards as­sess­ment from Novem­ber. However, the na­tion ap­pears to have fallen be­hind in pre­par­ing the so-called En­riched UO2 Powder Plant, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters.

The fa­cil­ity would al­low Ir­an to lim­it its low-en­riched re­serves by pro­cessing the ma­ter­i­al in­to ox­ide powder, which would be less suited for con­ver­sion in­to bomb-grade, highly en­riched urani­um.

Wash­ing­ton says Ir­an has pledged to pos­sess no more low-en­riched urani­um gas at the end of the pact’s six-month dur­a­tion than the na­tion held this week, when the in­ter­im nuc­le­ar agree­ment took ef­fect. The deal is in­ten­ded to carve out space for ne­go­ti­at­ors to ad­dress sus­pi­cions that Ir­an is pur­su­ing a nuc­le­ar-arms cap­ab­il­ity un­der the guise of a peace­ful atom­ic pro­gram.

A high-level Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said the na­tion would hold less than 16,865 pounds in Ju­ly, when the deal is slated to ex­pire. Post­pon­ing the ox­ide plant’s ac­tiv­a­tion means the site would have to op­er­ate faster than planned, if Tehran is to fall in line with the stock­pile re­stric­tion after six months. Ir­an is be­lieved to pro­duce roughly 550 pounds of low-en­riched urani­um each month, so it would have to pro­cess at least that amount in­to powder monthly to stay with­in lim­its.

Mean­while, en­ergy-in­dustry ob­serv­ers say the Novem­ber nuc­le­ar deal ap­pears to have slightly boos­ted Ir­an’s pet­ro­leum sales, Re­u­ters re­por­ted sep­ar­ately. The news agency val­ued the in­crease at roughly $150 mil­lion each month, and linked the change to grow­ing con­fid­ence among oil pur­chasers in an­ti­cip­a­tion of the atom­ic ac­cord.

What We're Following See More »
FIRST TIME SINCE COLD WAR
Nuclear Bombers Preparing to Go Back on 24-Hour Alert
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991...Putting the B-52s back on alert is just one of many decisions facing the Air Force as the U.S. military responds to a changing geopolitical environment that includes North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, President Trump’s confrontational approach to Pyongyang, and Russia’s increasingly potent and active armed forces."

Source:
TRUMP’S ATTORNEY WAS SET TO TESTIFY ON WEDNESDAY
Senate Intel Postpones Testimony by Cohen
2 days ago
THE LATEST
AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED CONSIDERATION
Senate Rejects Effort to Nix SALT Tax Changes
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."

Source:
INTERVIEWED BY COMMITTEE STAFF
Lewandowski Meets with Senate Intelligence Committee
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."

Source:
FISHING EXPEDITION
Some Members Seek to Wrap Up Russia Investigations by Year’s End
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"A growing number of key Republicans are sending this message to the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians: Wrap it up soon. In the House and Senate, several Republicans who sit on key committees are starting to grumble that the investigations have spanned the better part of the past nine months, contending that the Democratic push to extend the investigation well into next year could amount to a fishing expedition."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login