NEW YORK: A United Nations atomic watchdog report has claimed that Iran was sticking to the 2015 nuclear deal with major world powers even as tensions rise with US President Donald Trump.
Trump has vowed to “dismantle” the “disastrous” deal and has ratcheted up US sanctions, calling for Iran to be isolated and throwing his weight behind Tehran’s arch rival Saudi Arabia.
But the new International Atomic Energy Agency report showed Iran’s nuclear activities remain reduced, making any push to an atomic bomb much harder than before the agreement.
“Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium — used for peaceful purposes, but when further processed for a weapon — remained below the agreed limit of 300 kilogrammes (661 pounds),” the report said.
The agreement between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany regarding the nuclear deal was agreed in Vienna in July 2015, after years of negotiations. It came into force in January 2016.
The accord saw Iran substantially reduce its nuclear programme and submit to ultra-close IAEA oversight, making much tougher any “breakout” attempt to make a bomb before the world can react.
In return, UN and Western sanctions related to the nuclear standoff were lifted, in particular on Tehran’s oil exports and unlocking billions of dollars in funds frozen oversees.