Iran short of 'significant quantity' of potential bomb material: IAEA boss
ZURICH (Reuters) - Iran currently does not have enough enriched uranium to produce an atomic bomb according to the official definition of the United States' nuclear watchdog, the agency's head told an Austrian newspaper.
"The Iranians continue to enrich uranium, much more than they have committed to. And that amount is growing from month to month," Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told Die Presse in one of their press releases Website published interview website on Saturday.
When asked how long it would take Iran to build a nuclear weapon - the so-called "breakout time", he said:
"In the IAEA, we are not talking about the eruption time. We are looking at the significant amount, the minimum amount of enriched uranium or plutonium needed to make a nuclear bomb. Iran does not currently have that significant amount."
Iran denies ever having had a nuclear weapons program, saying its nuclear program is for energy use only.
The IAEA defines "significant amount" as the approximate amount of nuclear material for which the possibility of producing a nuclear explosive device cannot be excluded.
The most recent quarterly IAEA report on Iran last month said it contained 2,105.4 kg of enriched uranium, well above the 202.8 kg limit in a 2015 deal with major powers, but a fraction of the enriched uranium it did had before the agreement.
It's also fortified up to 4.5% purity, well below the 20% it reached prior to the deal and the 90% that is considered weapons grade.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Frances Kerry)
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