UN Watchdog Finds Uranium Traces in Iran

November 11, 2019 International Atomic Energy Agency investigators discovered Uranium particles of man-made origin at a site in Iran on Monday.

The U.N. atomic watchdog agency detailed several other violations of the 2015 nuclear deal by Iran.

The BBC reported that Monday’s IAEA report  also confirmed Iran had resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordo facility, breaching another commitment under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Enriched uranium can be used to make reactor fuel but also nuclear weapons.


Iran briefly detained a International Atomic Energy Agency investigator last week after alleging she triggered an alarm at the entrance to the Natanz uranium enrichment plant. The U.N. nuclear watchdog criticized Iran for preventing one of its inspectors from leaving the country, calling the treatment “not acceptable.” On Thursday, Iran said the IAEA inspector’s accreditation had been canceled.

The UN watchdog’s regularly scheduled visits are part of its “ongoing interactions” with Tehran, including “verification and monitoring in Iran under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” the technical name for the 2015 nuclear dealwith world powers.

In September, the IAEA discovered traces of uranium during an inspection at a facility in Tehran. Those findings supported then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s testimony from September 2018, in which he told the United Nations Israeli intelligence agents discovered a “secret atomic warehouse” in downtown Tehran.

2015 Nuclear Deal

The 2015 nuclear deal – agreed on by Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States offered relief from many international sanctions in exchange for accepting curbs on its nuclear program.

Since U. S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal last year and reimposed sanctions, Iran has insisted it wants to save the pact but has demanded the remaining world powers provide additional economic support.

Iranian leaders first threatened to begin enriching uranium at higher levels in May, one year after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, bringing new sanctions against the country.  A spokesman for Iran’s atomic agency announced in mid-June and again in September plans to enrich uranium, in violation of the Nuclear Deal. The intention of the announcements were to pressure Europe to come up with new terms for the nuclear deal.

On July 2, the IAEA confirmed Iran had indeed breached the Uranium stockpile limits. President Trump signed an executive order targeting Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s Foreign Minister with financial sanctions. Trump told reporters at the White House Iran must never have a nuclear weapon.

U.S. — Iran Tensions

Both the United States and Iran continue to insist they do not want war, but since President Trump pulled out of the 2015 Nuclear Deal last year, tensions between the two countries leaders has continued to escalate.

The escalation includes recent incidents of ships mysteriously attacked, drones downed and numerous oil tankers seized in the Strait of Hormuz. The latest—Iran’s coast guard announced Saturday it seized a boat and arrested 12 Filipino crewmen suspected in a fuel-smuggling ring in the Strait of Hormuz.

President Trump has continued to impose more sanctions against Iran and even personal sanctions against Iranian leaders to no avail.