Iran’s violations of nuclear limitations in the JCPOA continued. Iran’s stock of low enriched uranium (LEU) grew by about 50 percent, to 2324.9 kilograms of low enriched uranium (hexafluoride mass), all enriched below 5 percent, or the equivalent of 1571.6 kilograms (uranium mass).
Enrichment capacities did not grow at the Natanz and Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plants during this reporting period. Total enrichment capacity increased by only about five percent, reflecting the deployment of more advanced centrifuges at the Natanz Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant.
Breakout timelines decreased slightly from the last reporting period to an average of 3.5 months, with a minimum of at least 3.1 months. These values reflect greater certainty that Iran possesses sufficient enriched uranium to make enough weapon-grade uranium (WGU) for a nuclear weapon. Iran does not yet possess enough LEU for a second nuclear weapon, but if it did, it could produce the second one more quickly than the first.
A companion IAEA Iran safeguards report, NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which will be discussed in a separate Institute report, makes the startling finding: “The Agency notes with serious concern that, for over four months, Iran has denied access to the Agency, under Article 4.b.(i) and Article 5.c of the Additional Protocol, to two locations and, for almost a year, has not engaged in substantive discussions to clarify Agency questions related to the possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities in Iran.”