Iran has started work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog and Tehran said on Wednesday. Kazem Gharib Abadi, Iran’s representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency, confirmed that the country has started working on the fuel, saying that everything has been reported to the agency.
Iran's action is the latest breach of its nuclear deal with six significant powers as it presses for a lifting of U.S. sanctions.
What it means: Iran has been accelerating its breaches of the deal in the past two months. Some of those steps were required by a law passed in response to the killing of its top nuclear scientist in November, which Tehran has blamed on its arch foe Israel.
They are also, however, part of a process started by Tehran in 2019 of committing breaches in response to President Trump’s 2018 withdrawal from the deal and his reimposition of U.S. sanctions that had been lifted in exchange for restrictions on the country’s nuclear activities.
The moves raise pressure on President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office next week and has pledged to return the United States to the deal if Iran first resumes full compliance. Iran wants Washington to lift the sanctions first.