Iran boosts stocks of high grade uranium
Financial Times / James Blitz in London and Reuters

Iran almost doubled its stockpile of more highly enriched uranium, which is close to weapons grade, in three months from February, in a development that will intensify international alarm over the nature of its programme.

Tehran’s stock of uranium enriched to a concentration of 20 per cent doubled to 145kg from 73.7kg in February, according the International Atomic Energy Agency’s quarterly report, released on Friday.

IAEA inspectors also reported that they had found “the presence of particles” of 27 per cent-enriched uranium at Iran’s Fordow facility. That takes it across the line from low-enriched to high-enriched uranium.

It is "significantly" above the threshold level, one diplomat familiar with the issue said, adding that a "number" of such particles had been discovered and that further samples were taken earlier this month to see whether the find was confirmed.

Iran maintained the particles were a result of “technical reasons beyond the operator’s control,” and the Vienna-based agency says it is looking into the matter.

Uranium enriched over 20 per cent is very close to the 90 per cent level needed for a bomb.

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