Iran has received the final consignment of a 149-tonne shipment of uranium from Russia as part of its 2015 nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says.
Asghar Zare'an, special assistant to head of the AEOI, Ali Akbar Salehi, told reporters on Tuesday that 31 tonnes of yellowcake had arrived in the central Iranian city of Isfahan from Russia.
Iran has so far imported 359 tonnes of concentrated uranium, also known as yellowcake, after the implementation of the landmark nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed in July 2015.
The first of the four yellowcake consignments arrived in Iran on January 26 by plane.
Meanwhile, the AEOI spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, also told Tasnim News Agency that the 149-tonne consignment shipped to the country was nearly three times the total amount of yellowcake produced in Iran over the past 12-13 years. He added that the country had produced only 50 tonnes of yellowcake during the aforesaid period.
Kamalvandi also announced plans to increase exploration and extraction activities, saying that Iran’s uranium mines were of a lower concentration compared to those in Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan and some African countries, “though this does not mean that we cannot take advantage of this material.”
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany - started implementing the JCPOA on January 16, 2016.
Under the nuclear agreement, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Iran has, however, denied media reports suggesting that it has agreed to reduce its stockpile of uranium enriched to up to 3.67 percent purity to less than 300 kilograms as part of the JCPOA.
The AEOI announced on January 28 that it had started injecting uranium hexafluoride (UF6) into advanced domestically-manufactured centrifuge machines, known as IR-8, to launch an important phase of the country’s research and development plans.
Iran has successfully conducted all mechanical tests of the machines over the past three years, the AEOI said, adding that the IR-8 machines had the capacity to enrich uranium some 20 times more than the IR-1 ones.