Watchdog confirms Iran suspends uranium enrichment

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Reuters: Iran has suspended its uranium enrichment programme to ease fears that its nuclear programme is aimed at developing weapons, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog says. Reuters

VIENNA – Iran has suspended its uranium enrichment programme to ease fears that its nuclear programme is aimed at developing weapons, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog says.

“I think pretty much everything has come to a halt right now,” Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters ahead of a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.

Iran agreed in a deal with the European Union earlier this month to freeze its enrichment programme in a bid to avoid being referred to the U.N. Security Council, which could have led to economic sanctions.

France, Britain and Germany conducted the negotiations on behalf of the EU.

ElBaradei also confirmed that Iran had produced several tonnes of uranium hexafluoride (UF6), the form of uranium used in the enrichment process.

Enrichment is a process of purifying uranium for use as fuel in atomic power plants or weapons.

He said Iran had produced around two tonnes of UF6 which would not have been enough for a weapon.

Iran had dismissed on Friday reports that it produced UF6 as a “sheer lie”.