Iran will receive the final part of a 149-tonne shipment of uranium from Russia as part of its nuclear deal with world powers, it was announced today. “The first shipment arrived on January 26 by plane and the last will arrive tomorrow, Tuesday,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, according to Fars news agency.
Under the nuclear deal signed with world powers in July 2015, Iran has the right to enrich uranium to a level of 3.5 percent and sell it abroad, as part of efforts to develop its civilian nuclear programme. Nuclear weapons require uranium enriched to around 80 percent.
With the latest shipment, which was authorised by the United States and the other five signatories to the deal, Salehi said Iran has imported 359 tonnes of concentrated uranium, also known as yellow cake, since the nuclear deal came into effect in January 2016.
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Under the deal, Iran is allowed to run around 5,000 “IR-1” centrifuges and has been testing more advanced models that can produce greater quantities of enriched uranium — all under the strict supervision of the UN atomic agency.
Last month, Iranian officials said they had successfully tested the latest-generation IR-8 centrifuge, which has a capacity 20 times the IR-1, with uranium gas.