Iran ‘gets rid’ of sensitive nuclear material

Until recently, Iran had demanded that it be allowed to expand its enrichment program.

Until recently, Iran had demanded that it be allowed to expand its enrichment program.

Iran has turned all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms, the United Nations’ nuclear agency said Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

Tehran had committed to convert or dilute its 20-percent enriched stockpile under an agreement with Western powers last November.

Iran had more than 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of 20 percent enriched uranium when the preliminary agreement was reached. That’s nearly enough for one warhead.

The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report that all has now been converted or diluted. The report said Iran was observing all of its other commitments as well.

At 20 percent, enriched uranium can be converted quickly to arm a nuclear weapon. Iran denies wanting such arms.

Tehran is keen to seal a deal that would end nuclear-related sanctions on its economy, but is resisting a U.S.-led drive to put stiff, long-term constraints on atomic activities that have both peaceful and weapons-related applications.

The main dispute is over uranium enrichment, which can make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of nuclear warheads.

Until recently, Iran had demanded that it be allowed to expand its enrichment program over the next eight years to a level that would need about 190,000 current-model enriching centrifuges.

Diplomats say Washington wants no more than 2,000 of the machines, according to the Associated Press.

Last week, Iran and six world powers agreed to a four-month extension of negotiations on a possible nuclear deal that would gradually end sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

 
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