International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi is in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials, including about the discovery of 83.7% enriched uranium at the Fordoo plant.

Grossi arrived on Friday and has had two sets of talks with the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Eslami.

Eslami did not refer to the IAEA’s discovery of the 83.7% uranium, which is just short of 90% military grade.

However, he justified Iran’s breaking of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal — including the production of 60% uranium deal — by referring to the withdrawal of the US’s Trump Administration from the agreement in May 2018 and the imposition of comprehensive sanctions on Tehran six months later.

“The parties did not fulfil their commitments”, Eslami said, and so Iran decided to “reduce its commitments”.

Grossi gave little away in remarks to reporters:

Clearly, there is great expectation about our joint work in order to move forward in the issues that Iran and the agency are working on, to clarify and to bring credible assurances about the nuclear programme in Iran.

The second set of issues, which is very important, has to do with scientific, technical cooperation we are having and will continue to have with Iran.


The US has sanctioned another 11 firms and 20 shipping vessels involved in Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical trade.

Two of the sanctioned firms are based in China, with others in Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “These designations underscore our continued efforts to enforce our sanctions against Iran.”


The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed the discovery of 83.7% enriched uranium — close to military grade — in Iran’s nuclear program.

Officials added in their quarterly report to the IAEA’s governing board that, because of Tehran’s restrictions on its inspectors, it would take a considerable time to provide a full account of the extent of the enrichment.

Iranian officials maintain that the 83.7% uranium was produced during the “transition period at the time of commissioning the process” of 60% uranium last November “or while replacing the feed cylinder”.

The reference in the IAEA report to 83.7% “particles” rather than uranium stock at that level indicates that the analysts do not believe Tehran has established military-grade enrichment as policy.

But the 84% particles were found after Iran carried out an undeclared change of centrifuge configurations at the Fordow plant in January. That link indicates the excessive enrichment was not accidental.

The analysts also confirm that Iran is extending its enrichment of 60% uranium, violating the 2015 nuclear deal with the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, Germany, France, China, and Russia).

They estimate that Iran’s stockpile of all enriched uranium is 3,760.8 kg (8,291 lbs) as of February 12. The limit in the 2015 nuclear deal was set at 202.8 kg.

The amount of 60% uranium has increased by more than third since November, rising to 87.5 kg from 62.3 kg.

ORIGINAL ENTRY, FEB 20: International inspectors have detected uranium enriched to 84% purity — close to 90% military grade — in Iran.

The monitors found the uranium last week, according to “two senior diplomats”. The International Atomic Energy Agency is trying to clarify how Iran accumulated the stock, well beyond the 60% enriched uranium declared by Tehran.

Inspectors will try to determine whether Iran intentionally produced the material, or if the concentration was an unintended accumulation within the network of pipes connecting hundreds of fast-spinning centrifuges.

Earlier this month the IAEA detected undeclared modification of centrifuges at Iran’s underground Fordow site.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, insisted that the discovery of the 84% uranium was “a smear and a distortion of the facts”: “The existence of uranium particles above 60% does not mean the same thing as enrichment above 60%.”

Seyed Mohammad Marandi of Tehran University, the regime’s de facto English-language spokesman, blasted:

The IAEA will present its quarterly Iran safeguards report to the March 6 Board of Governors meeting in Vienna.

A diplomat said Iran did not submitted the required forms declaring its intention to raise uranium enrichment levels at its Natanz and Fordow facilities.

Another diplomat explained even if the 84% uranium accumulated because of technical issues with centrifuge cascades, it highlights the danger of Iran’s pursuit of highly-enriched uranium, the other diplomat said.

The 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, France, Germany, UK, China, and Russia) limited Tehran to 3.67% uranium, with all 20% stock to be taken out of the country.

However, after the Trump Administration withdrew from the deal and imposed sweeping sanctions in November 2018, Iran resumed the 20% enrichment and then upgraded uranium to 60% for the first time.

Tehran has restricted inspections, confiscating all video of its nuclear sites and removing cameras. Iran’s demands for sharp limits on the IAEA have stalled talks to renew the nuclear deal.

IAEA head Rafael Grossi said last month that the deal is now an “empty shell. He said Iran has sufficient nuclear material for several weapons in the event of a political decision to pursue a warhead.