VIENNA: Iran has significantly increased its production of highly enriched uranium, specifically at a rate of about 9 kilograms (20 pounds) per month since the end of November, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
This marks a reversal of the previous reduction in output observed from mid-2023. The enrichment activities are taking place at two facilities, the Natanz Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant and the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.
The move comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States, with informal talks for a nuclear treaty experiencing a standstill since the summer of 2022. The IAEA verified the increased rate of uranium enrichment to 60% on December 19 and 24, raising concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. In November, a confidential IAEA report revealed that Iran’s enriched uranium stocks exceeded the limits set by the 2015 nuclear accord, which collapsed in 2018 when the US withdrew.