Iran has eliminated enriched uranium stockpile, says UN

Jul 21, 2014

Iran upholds part of international agreement, as nuclear talks extended until September


Iran has neutralised its enriched uranium stockpile according to the United Nations nuclear agency, and is expected to be rewarded with reduced sanctions from major nations.

The development is the result of an interim deal thrashed out between Iran and six global powers, under the terms of which Iran agreed to convert its stock of weapons-grade uranium into a "more harmless" form, the BBC reports.

The US, France, Germany, China, Russia, and the UK, brokered the deal because of suspicions Iran was planning to use its enriched uranium stockpile to produce nuclear weapons. Iran denied the claims, saying the material was destined for use in its nuclear power stations.

In exchange for limiting its nuclear stockpile, international sanctions which have "crippled" Iran's economy will be reduced, Reuters reports.

The US said it would "unblock" $2.8bn in frozen Iranian funds in return for Iran's concession. US Secretary of State John Kerry said this was evidence of the "tangible progress" made during the negotiations.

However, the BBC's Bethany Bell said that a long-term solution to Iran's nuclear ambitions "still seems a long way off."

Further negotiations on Iran's nuclear enrichment programme will resume in September. The deadline for a comprehensive agreement was extended as the countries have so far failed to reach an accord, Al Jazeera reports. The final deadline for an agreement has been set for 24 November.

"There are still significant gaps on some core issues which will require more time and effort," said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a joint statement.

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