IAEA says Iran turned its enriched uranium into more harmless forms

IAEA says Iran turned its enriched uranium into more harmless forms

PanARMENIAN.Net - Iran has turned all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms, the UN nuclear agency says, according to BBC News.

The conversion of its stock of 20%-enriched uranium was part of a deal to curb Iran's nuclear program.

The U.S. said last week it would unblock $2.8bn in frozen Iranian funds in return for Iran's compliance.

A four-month extension to talks on Iran's nuclear ambitions was agreed last week between Iran and world powers. The talks are aimed at persuading Iran to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

The six world powers involved in the talks - the U.S., France, China, Russia, Germany and the UK - suspect Iran seeks atomic weapons, which Iran denies. The country insists that it is enriching uranium for use in nuclear power stations and for medical purposes.

A new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran is observing all of its other commitments as well.

Iran had more than 200kg of 20%-enriched uranium when the preliminary agreement to convert it was reached last November.

At 20%, enriched uranium can be converted quickly to arm a nuclear weapon and experts said 200kg was enough to make one nuclear warhead.

The parties have been unable to reach agreement on imposing long-term restrictions over Iran's uranium enrichment and plutonium production - processes that could yield material for nuclear warheads.

In a joint statement after last week's talks, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said: "There are still significant gaps on some core issues which will require more time and effort."

A deal could see the lifting of oil and trade sanctions on Iran.

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