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Nuclear watchdog warns Iranian nuclear program might not be ‘exclusively peaceful’

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Sep 7, 2022

The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency released a report outlining the progress Iran’s nuclear program has made, warning that the agency cannot determine that the country’s nuclear aims are “exclusively peaceful.”

“The Agency is not in a position to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful,” said the report released Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The report comes as the Biden administration reportedly closed in on a renewed nuclear deal with Iran in recent weeks, though talks have stalled in the last 24 hours and the European Union’s chief negotiator has attempted to downplay speculation that a deal could be close.

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According to a Times of Israel report Wednesday, President Biden assured Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid that a deal with Iran is not close and that the U.S. would not be signing one for the foreseeable future.

Biden has made reviving the Obama-era deal, which was scrapped under former President Donald Trump, a cornerstone of his policy on Iran. But the potential new deal has received some pushback from Israel, which argues that Iran is closing in on the ability to build a nuclear weapon and a new deal would only serve to delay the inevitable.

Those fears were seemingly realized in the IAEA’s Wednesday report, which found that Iran has uranium enriched to up to 60%. The agency expressed concerns about the aims of the country’s nuclear program.

“The Director General is increasingly concerned that Iran has not engaged with the Agency on the outstanding safeguards issues during this reporting period and, therefore, that there has been no progress towards resolving them,” the report said.

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