Iran has enriched uranium to 63 percent, higher than the announced 60 percent that already complicated talks to revive its nuclear deal with world powers, a report by the UN nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday.
“According to Iran, fluctuations of the enrichment levels … were experienced,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in the confidential report to its member states, seen by Reuters.
“The agency’s analysis of the ES (environmental samples) taken on 22 April 2021 shows an enrichment level of up to 63% U-235, which is consistent with the fluctuations of the enrichment levels (described by Iran),” it added, without saying why the fluctuations had occurred.
Iran made the shift to 60 percent, a big step towards nuclear weapons-grade from the 20 percent previously achieved.
Iran’s move further complicates the current indirect talks with the United States to agree on conditions for both sides to return fully to the 2015 nuclear deal.
The deal says Iran cannot enrich beyond 3.67 percent fissile purity, far from the 90 percent of weapons-grade.