IAEA says Iran increased stock piles of nuclear materials

Iran said it was suspending some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 31 May 2019

IAEA says Iran increased stock piles of nuclear materials

  • UN nuclear watchdog says supplies of heavy water and low enriched uranium still with in nuclear deal limits
  • Report is the first since Iran said it would start enriching more uranium amid heightened tensions with US

VIENNA: Iran’s stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and heavy water have increased since the start of the year, the UN atomic watchdog said Friday.

The confidential quarterly report by the International Atomic Energy Agency is the first since Tehran announced it had increased low-enriched uranium production.

While the report said Iran is still within the limitations set by the nuclear deal reached in 2015 with major powers, it detailed significant increases in key nuclear materials.

As of May 26, Iran had 125.2 metric tonnes of heavy water, an increase of 0.4 tonnes on February but still under the 130-tonne limit.

As of May 20, Iran had 174.1 kg of enriched uranium, up from 163.8kg in February but within the relevant of limit 300kg.

The report does say that "technical discussions... are ongoing" with Iran in relation to its installation of up to 33 advanced IR-6 centrifuges, but does not specify the content of these discussions.

Earlier this month Iran announced it was suspending some of its commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and gave the remaining signatories 60 days to come up with new economic incentives to compensate for the unilateral withdrawal of the United States last year.

*With AP and AFP


Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

Updated 17 November 2019

Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

  • Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad
  • More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad

BAGHDAD: Iraqi protesters regained control of a third bridge leading to Baghdad’s Green Zone on Sunday, taking further ground in the biggest wave of anti-government demonstrations in decades.
Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad, part of a weeks-long attempt to disrupt traffic and reach the Green Zone housing government ministry and embassies.
Protesters made a barricade of old cabinets, trash cans and metal sheeting on the bridge while security forces took positions behind blast walls installed to prevent protesters from crossing to the other side. Protesters who choked on the tear gas were evacuated by tuk-tuk, a Reuters cameraman said.
On Saturday, Iraqi demonstrators reoccupied part of adjacent Sinak Bridge and a nearby tall building in Baghdad that security forces had pushed them away from a week before. They have held a third bridge, Jamhuriya, since October 25.
More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad and southern Iraq in early October, the largest demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Protesters are demanding the overthrow of a political class seen as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests.
In Basra in the south, dozens of protesters burned tires and briefly blocked some roads on Sunday, before police managed to restore control and reopen them, police said.
The unrest has shattered the relative calm that followed the defeat of Islamic State in 2017.