United States Calls on Iran to Dilute Highly Enriched Uranium

The US urged Iran to dilute all enriched uranium to 60% purity, close to weapons-grade levels, in a statement criticizing Iran’s recent nuclear actions.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported a slight reduction in Iran’s stock of uranium enriched to 60% in the past quarter due to downblending activities.

Iran still possesses enough material to fuel two theoretical nuclear weapons at the IAEA definition and more bombs at lower enrichment levels, according to a Reuters source.

The US stated, “Iran should downblend all, not just some, of its 60% stockpile and halt all production of uranium enriched to 60%.” This was communicated during a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors.

Nuclear symbol and Iran flag are seen in this illustration, July 21, 2022 (credit: DADO RUVIC/REUTERS ILLUSTRATION)

Down-blending unclear

The reason for Iran’s down-blending activities remains unclear. While Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons and claims enrichment for civil purposes, Western powers question the need for such high levels of enrichment.

The US expressed ongoing concerns over Iran’s highly enriched uranium stockpile, highlighting the lack of any other country producing uranium enriched to 60% for similar purposes.

“Iran’s actions are contrary to the behavior of other non-nuclear weapons states party to the NPT,” the statement added.

The US also criticized Iran for various actions condemned by the IAEA, such as restricting access to experienced inspectors in the past year.