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 »
RSC OPPOSITION
House Conservatives Balk on Obamacare Replacement
32 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"The chairman of the influential Republican Study Committee said Monday he would vote against a draft ObamaCare replacement bill that leaked last week. Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), head of the 172-member committee, said Monday his opposition stems from the draft bill's use of refundable tax credits." He said the current plan simply "kicks the can down the road" rather than attempt any real reform.

Source:
ENLISTS THEIR HELP IN REPEAL/REPLACE
Trump Meets with Health Execs
32 minutes ago
THE LATEST
ALSO VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
Scalia’s Widow to Be Trump’s Guest at Speech
33 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

The White House revealed its guest list for President Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday night. The marquee name: Maureen Scalia, the wife of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Also seated with the first lady will be three family members of people killed by illegal immigrants.

ZINKE NEXT IN LINE
Wilbur Ross Confirmed as Commerce Secretary
49 minutes ago
THE LATEST
FORMER GOVERNOR, AMBASSADOR TO CHINA
Jon Huntsman in Line to be #2 at State
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS
×
×

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