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International Atomic Energy Agency report seen by AP says Iran resolves 2 inquiries by inspectors


VIENNA (AP) — Iran has resolved two outstanding inquiries of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a report seen Wednesday by The Associated Press said.

The confidential quarterly report by the Vienna-based IAEA said inspectors no longer had questions on uranium particles found to be enriched to 83.7% at its underground Fordo facility.

"The agency informed Iran that, following its evaluation of the data, the agency had assessed that the information provided was not inconsistent with Iran’s explanation ... and that the agency had no further questions on this matter at this stage,” the report said.

The report said investigators also have closed off their investigation of traces of man-made uranium found at Marivan, near the city of Abadeh, some 525 kilometers (325 miles) southeast of Tehran. Analysts had repeatedly linked Marivan to Iran’s secret military nuclear program and accused Iran of conducting high-explosives tests there in the early 2000s.

The report said that “another member state” operated a mine at the area in the 1960s and 1970s under the rule of then-Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. It wasn't immediately clear which nation was involved in the mining.

Iran had argued the uranium traces could have come from “laboratory instruments and equipment” used by miners at the site. The IAEA called the answer “a possible explanation.”

“The agency at this time has no additional questions on the depleted uranium particles detected at Marivan ... and the matter is no longer outstanding at this stage,” it said. The agency also installed enrichment monitoring devices at Fordo and Natanz, Iran's other main enrichment site, the report said.

Iran on Tuesday had said international inspectors closed off the two lines of inquiry over its nuclear program.

Separately, the IAEA acknowledged installing new cameras at a workshops in the Iranian city of Isfahan where centrifuge rotors and bellows are manufactured. Centrifuges rapidly spin uranium gas, enriching it.

However, Iran has been withholding surveillance footage from the IAEA amid its tensions with the West.

The report comes as tensions between Iran and the West have escalated over its nuclear program. Tehran also has faced mass protests recently and anger from the West over it arming Russia with bomb-carrying drones now targeting Ukraine.

Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal limited Tehran’s uranium stockpile to 300 kilograms (661 pounds) and enrichment to 3.67% — enough to fuel a nuclear power plant. The U.S.′ unilateral withdrawal from the accord in 2018 set in motion a series of attacks and escalations by Tehran over its program.

Iran has been producing uranium enriched to 60% purity — a level for which nonproliferation experts already say Tehran has no civilian use.

The IAEA report also estimated that as of May 13, Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile was at 4,744.5 kilograms (10,460 pounds). Of that, 114.1 kilograms (251 pounds) is enriched up to 60% purity, a short, technical step to weapons-grade levels.

The last IAEA estimate in February put Iran’s uranium stockpile at some 3,760 kilograms (8,289 pounds). Of that, 87.5 kilograms (192 pounds) was enriched up to 60% purity.

While the IAEA’s director-general has warned that Iran now has enough uranium to produce “several” bombs, months more would likely be needed to build a weapon and potentially miniaturize it to put it on a missile. The U.S. intelligence community has maintained its assessment that Iran isn’t pursuing an atomic bomb.


Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.


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