Iran begins enriching uranium to 20 percent in violation of nuclear deal Iranian state television quoted Iran`s chief nuclear negotiator, Abbas Araghchi, as saying the country had informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of its plan to begin uranium enrichment to 60 percent. Before the nuclear deal, Iran had enough uranium enriched to 20 percent and enough centrifuges for its “break time” to be estimated at about two to three months. A congressional report published on August 23, 2006 summarized the documentary history of Iran`s nuclear program, but also made allegations against the IAEA. The IAEA responded with a stern letter to the chairman of the U.S. House intelligence committee, Peter Hoekstra, who called the report`s claim that an IAEA inspector had been fired for violating an alleged IAEA policy of telling “the whole truth” about Iran “outrageous and dishonest” and pointed to other factual errors. such as the claim that Iran has enriched “weapons-grade” uranium.  In a speech to the United Nations on September 17, 2005, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested that Iran`s enrichment could be managed by an international consortium, with Iran sharing ownership with other countries. The offer was unceremoniously rejected by the EU and the US.  In response to this report, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted it on September 13.
A resolution rebuking Iran for opposing UN Security Council resolutions suspending uranium enrichment and calling on Iran to allow inspections of evidence it is engaged in weapons technology.  The resolution, passed by 31 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions, also expressed “grave concerns” about Iran`s nuclear program and sought a peaceful solution. Senior U.S. diplomat Robert Wood accused Iran of “systematically demolishing” a facility at the Parchin military base that IAEA inspectors have tried to visit in the past but have not gained access, saying that “Iran has taken steps consistent with efforts to suppress evidence of its previous activities in Parchin.”  The resolution was tabled jointly by China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom.  In April 1984, West German intelligence reported that Iran could have a nuclear bomb containing uranium from Pakistan within two years. The Germans leaked the news in western intelligence`s first public report on a post-revolutionary nuclear weapons program in Iran.  Later this year, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Alan Cranston claimed that the Islamic Republic of Iran was seven years away from being able to build its own nuclear weapon.  As negotiations over Iran`s nuclear program gained momentum, the Iranian government told the IAEA in January 2013 that it planned to install more than 3,000 of the country`s advanced centrifuges, the IR-2m. 15 These centrifuges, which were more durable and efficient than the IR-1 model, were able to significantly increase Iran`s production of enriched uranium. 16 The statement signalled a further step by Iran to expand its enrichment programme, in violation of the IAEA Board of Governors and UN Security Council resolutions. In the 2000s, the revelation of Iran`s secret uranium enrichment program raised concerns that it was intended for non-peaceful purposes.
The IAEA opened an investigation in 2003 after an Iranian splinter group discovered undeclared Iranian nuclear activities.   In 2006, the United Nations Security Council ordered Iran to suspend its enrichment programs due to Iran`s non-compliance with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In June 2009, immediately after Iran`s disputed presidential election, Iran first agreed to a deal to give up its supply of low-enriched uranium in exchange for fuel for a medical research reactor, but later withdrew from the deal.  Thirteen countries currently have operational enrichment or reprocessing facilities, and several others have expressed interest in developing indigenous enrichment programs.  Iran`s position was supported by the Non-Aligned Movement, which expressed concern about the possible monopolization of nuclear fuel production.  In November 2009, the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors overwhelmingly supported the demand by the United States, Russia, China, and three other powers for Iran to immediately halt construction of its recently unveiled nuclear facility and freeze uranium enrichment. Sources in Vienna and the Foreign Ministry reportedly said the HEU problem had been solved for all intents and purposes.  Based on the JPOA as the basis for a broader agreement, Iran and the P5+1 concluded on July 14, 2015, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a far-reaching 25-year settlement that limited Iran`s nuclear capabilities in exchange for sanctions relief. In accordance with the JCPOA, Iran has agreed to remove about two-thirds of Natanz centrifuges, limit uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent, and mix or sell the majority of its STOCKpile of LEU.
Iran is also required to provide the IAEA with daily access to Natanz to continuously monitor enrichment activities and centrifuge production. 18 Russia stated that it believed Iran had the right to enrich uranium on its soil. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested that work could be done on an international nuclear fuel bank instead of Iran`s domestic enrichment, while Richard Haass, chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, said, “The United States should be prepared to discuss what Iran calls its `right to enrichment.`”