Iran Is Eliminating More Than Half of Its Weapons-Capable Uranium

The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran is pictured here in a file photo from Oct. 26, 2010.

Majid Asgaripour, Mehr News Agency/AP

AA Font size + Print

The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran is pictured here in a file photo from Oct. 26, 2010.

Hoping to ease its neighbors' concerns, Tehran is sticking to an agreement made in November to prove its refinement process will not lead to a nuke in Iran's hands. By Diane Barnes

Iran is moving to eliminate more of the uranium it could most easily refine into nuclear-bomb material, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday.

Inspectors last week confirmed that Iran had fed nearly 670 pounds of its 20 percent-enriched uranium-hexafluoride gas into a system at its Isfahan facility for producing solid oxide, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in quarterly safeguards report. The action was in line with a short-term deal the Persian Gulf power reached other governments over fears that it was pursuing an ability to build nuclear bombs.

The country has long insisted its nuclear program is peaceful, but last year agreed to make the 20 percent-enriched uranium harder to use in nuclear weapons. It has already completed plans to blend down half of the stockpile and, on Friday, agency inspectors said efforts to convert the other half into oxide were “ongoing.”

Addressing concerns that Iran may be able to return the oxide to its gaseous form, IAEA officials noted that the conversion system at Isfahan contained “no process line … for the reconversion of uranium oxides into [uranium hexafluoride].”

Iran is pursuing negotiations with six other countries — China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — on a potential long-term replacement for the interim nuclear accord reached last November. The temporary arrangement is due to expire on July 20.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: Supply Chain Insecurity

    Federal organizations rely on state-of-the-art IT tools and systems to deliver services efficiently and effectively, and it takes a vast ecosystem of organizations, individuals, information, and resources to successfully deliver these products. This issue brief discusses the current threats to the vulnerable supply chain - and how agencies can prevent these threats to produce a more secure IT supply chain process.

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.