Iran Staying Within Nuclear Deal Restrictions, UN Watchdog Says

A confidential report by the UN atomic watchdog shows Iran has complied with main restrictions on nuclear activities despite critics of the 2015 deal

Iran's ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi waits for the start of a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, June 4, 2018.
\ LEONHARD FOEGER/ REUTERS

Iran has remained within the main restrictions on its nuclear activities imposed by a 2015 deal with major powers, a confidential report by the UN atomic watchdog indicated on Thursday. 

In its second quarterly report since U.S. President Donald Trump announced in May that the United States would quit the accord and reimpose sanctions, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had stayed within caps on the level to which it can enrich uranium, its stock of enriched uranium and other items. 

In its last report in May, the IAEA had said Iran could do more to cooperate with inspectors and thereby "enhance confidence", but stopped short of saying the Islamic Republic had given it cause for concern. Thursday's report to member states seen by Reuters contained similar language. 

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It said the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog was able to carry out all so-called complementary access inspections needed to verify Iran's compliance with the deal. 

"Timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access facilitates implementation of the Additional Protocol and enhances confidence," said the report, which was distributed to IAEA member states. 

"The production rate [of enriched uranium] is constant. There is no change whatsoever," a senior diplomat added. 

With the United States reimposing its sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the nuclear deal, many diplomats and analysts now doubt that the accord will survive despite European Union efforts to counter some of the effects of Trump's move. 

On Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cast doubt on the ability of EU countries to save the agreement and said Tehran might abandon it

President Hassan Rohani was told by Khamenei not to rely too much on European support as he came under increased pressure at home over his handling of the economy in the face of U.S. sanctions, with key ministers under attack by parliament.