In June Iran declared it intended to ignore the strict uranium limits set under the nuclear deal that they struck with the world’s leading powers.
Implemented when Obama was in the White House the Iran nuclear deal aimed to reduce the country’s ability to produce nuclear weapons and was signed by seven world powers who are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China and Germany.
The shock statement is another blow to the deal that has already been deteriorating since the US’s high-profile withdrawal after President Trump withdrew from the deal earlier this year branding it as “horrible” and “one-sided”.
Iran pledged to breach the agreement until it has sanctions lifted, something it says it is owed.
Now the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed Iran has been true to its word in a confidential report distributed to member countries that was seen by The Associated Press.
The agency said as of February, Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium amounted to 11.1 tons, compared to 372.3 kilograms in November.
The nuclear deal that Iran signed in 2015 with the members of the United Nations Security Council, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, allows Iran’s stockpile to be a maximum of 202.8 kilograms.
Nuclear scientists have fears that the technology could allow Iran to produce atomic weapons within less than a year.
Three locations have been identified in Iran where the country possibly kept some undeclared nuclear material or performed various nuclear-related activities without declaring it to international observers.
Iran’s centrifuge program is located at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Plant and is partly an underground plant so as to protect it from air or missile strikes.
The current stockpile puts Iran within reach of the amount needed to produce a nuclear weapon, but they insist that this is not what they want to do.
This news comes two months after a US airstrike killed Iran’s military chief.