VIENNA - Iran is continuing to implement its commitments under a landmark nuclear agreement reached with world powers late last year, the UN nuclear watchdog said in a monthly update on Thursday obtained by Reuters.
The six-month accord was designed to buy time for negotiations on a final settlement of the decade-old dispute over nuclear activity that Tehran says is peaceful but the West fears may be aimed at developing a nuclear weapons capability.
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But it also showed that Iran had not yet completed a facility to convert low-enriched uranium gas (LEU) into a less proliferation-sensitive oxide form. That probably means its stockpile of the material is continuing to increase for the time being, as its LEU production has not stopped.
Among other steps, Iran agreed under the interim accord to limit its LEU reserve. The new plant is meant to achieve that by turning the material into oxide powder that is not suited for further processing into highly-enriched bomb-grade uranium.
Diplomats and experts have said the matter is of no immediate concern since Iran's commitment concerns the size of the stockpile towards the end of the deal, in late July, meaning it has time both to complete the facility and convert enough material.