Iran says it has discovered oilfield with 53 billion barrels
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Nov 12, 2019,
Nov 12, 2019, 0:57
Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes.
The revelation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the first time it has acknowledged in a report that allegations made by the US and Israel against Iran are true.
However, the fate of the Iran deal has been in doubt since May 2018, when the USA abruptly abandoned the deal and reinstated the anti-Iran sanctions that it had lifted as part of the JCPOA.
The agency says as of November 3, Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium was 372.3 kilograms (820.78 pounds) compared to 241.6 kilograms reported on August 19, and past the 202.8 kilogram limit. The assertion appeared to confirm allegations made by the USA and Israel of a secret nuclear warehouse.
A confidential report, seen by the BBC, did not say exactly where the site was.
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The nuclear deal had called for Fordo to become a research centre.
Iran, a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, sits on what were already the world's fourth-biggest oil reserves.
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The new technology means Iran can now produce ten times the level of enriched uranium from two months ago when it abandoned the nuclear deal despite the effort of the United Kingdom and other European Union members to keep the accord alive.
Iran now enriches uranium to up to 4.5 percent, far below weapons-grade levels of 90 percent.
Under the terms of the deal, a United Nations-imposed arms embargo on Iran is slated to be lifted in October 2020, five years after the accord's adoption.
A meeting of all the signatories is likely to be held in coming days.
Mr Netanyahu said the Iranian authorities had removed 15kg (33lb) of radioactive material from the warehouse the previous month and "spread it around Tehran in an effort to hide the evidence".
"Although the sanctions pave the way for problems in certain cases, they will benefit the country if they are dealt with correctly and logically", Ayatollah Khamenei said.
"It is now critical that Iran upholds its JCPOA commitments and works with all JCPOA participants to de-escalate tensions", they said, referring to the deal by its full name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Salehi said in Tehran that the country is now producing at least 5.5 kilograms daily.