DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile has far exceeded the level allowed by its international nuclear deal, an aide to Iran’s nuclear chief said on Saturday.
Ali Asghar Zarean said that Iran has stockpiled 1,200 kilograms, or about 2,600 pounds, which is well beyond what the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers allowed.
“Iran is increasing its stockpile of the enriched uranium with full speed,” he said. The claim has not been verified by the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog.
In November, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium had grown to 372.3 kilograms (821 pounds) as of Nov. 3. The nuclear deal limited the stockpile to 202.8 kilograms (447 pounds).
Iran has routinely vowed to begin enriching its stockpile of uranium to higher levels closer to weapons grade if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for the nuclear accord following the U.S. decision to withdraw from the agreement and restore crippling sanctions. European countries opposed the U.S. withdrawal and have repeatedly urged Iran to abide by the deal.
Meanwhile, Iran is not ruling out negotiations with the United States even after an American drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, the country’s foreign minister said in an interview released Saturday.
Mohammed Javad Zarif told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine that he would “never rule out the possibility that people will change their approach and recognize the realities,” in an interview conducted Friday in Tehran.