On Monday, the Iranian government announced that it had surpassed the amount of enriched uranium agreed to under the Obama-era nuclear deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that its inspectors believe this to be the case.
Here’s what we know
Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, announced on Monday through the country’s ISNA news agency that the stockpile limits had been exceeded.
“Based on what I have been told, Iran has exceeded the 300-kilogram limit in accordance with its plan,” Zarif claimed. “We have clearly said what we will do and we will act accordingly. We deem it as part of our rights under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”
Zarif also said that this was “reversible.”
According to the BBC, the IAEA confirmed soon afterward that this was the case.
“We can confirm that IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has informed the Board of Governors that the agency verified on 1 July that Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile exceeded 300kg of UF6 [uranium hexafluoride] enriched up to 3.67% U-235 (or the equivalent in different chemical forms),” a spokesperson for the IAEA told the BBC.
What about the Iran nuclear deal?
In 2015, the Obama administration signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, with the Iranian regime to limit the amount of enriched uranium Iran would refine, in return for the U.S. lifting sanctions on Iran. However, in May 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he would be pulling the U.S. out of this deal, which he described as an “embarrassment.”
France, Germany, and the United Kingdom had tried to encourage Iran to keep up its end of the deal without the United States, but to no avail.
Iran had announced on June 17 that it would pass the threshold set by the deal within 10 days.
“If Iran feels that the sanctions have been reinstated or not lifted, Iran has the right to partly or on the whole suspend its commitments,” Iranian atomic agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said at the time.