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IAEA not sure if Iran's nuclear programme is peaceful

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi gives a speech at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria on April 1, 2022 [Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images]
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi gives a speech at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria on April 1, 2022 [Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images]

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday that it was "not in a position to provide assurance that Iran's nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful." According to AFP, the UN watchdog said that there had been "no progress" in resolving questions over the past presence of nuclear material at undeclared sites.

Iran continues to enrich uranium at undisclosed locations and has exceeded the enrichment limits laid down in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal. Reuters has reported that the country's stockpile of enriched uranium is now more than 19 times the limit stated in the deal.

READ: Iran has enough uranium near weapons-grade for a bomb, IAEA report shows

The IAEA said that Director General Rafael Grossi is "increasingly concerned that Iran has not engaged with the Agency on the outstanding safeguards issues during this reporting period and, therefore, that there has been no progress towards resolving them."

Iran's total stockpile as of 21 August, said the IAEA, stood at an estimated 3,940 kilograms, up 131.6 kilograms from the last quarterly report.

While Iran long has maintained that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, officials now openly discuss Tehran's ability to build an atomic bomb if it wants to.

On Wednesday, Israeli media reported that the deal is now likely off the table after Iran made new demands that Washington refuses to accept. There have been reports that Iran has given up its demand for the US to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its list of terrorist entities, but Tehran insists on getting a pledge that future US administrations will commit to the deal if accepted by the current administration. American officials said that the Biden team cannot make such a binding pledge.

READ: US blames Iran for 'reckless and irresponsible cyber attack' on Albania

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