Iran complying with nuclear deal: UN watchdog

US President Donald Trump has vowed to "dismantle" the "disastrous" accord between Iran and six major powers.

Published: 31st August 2017 07:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2017 07:37 PM   |  A+A-

United Nations General Assembly building in New York. (File | AP)

By AFP

VIENNA: Iran remains in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, a UN atomic watchdog report showed Thursday, even as growing tensions between Tehran and Washington threaten to torpedo the landmark agreement.

US President Donald Trump has vowed to "dismantle" the "disastrous" accord between Iran and six major powers curtailing Tehran's atomic activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

While US sanctions imposed over Iran's nuclear work remain suspended, Washington has ramped up others related to Tehran's support for "terrorism", its ballistic missile programme and its human rights record.

Iran says this contravenes the "spirit" of the deal, an accusation fired back by Trump at Tehran because of the Islamic republic's funding and supplying of armed groups "across the region".

The 2015 accord covered only Iran's nuclear activities and the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) quarterly report, seen by AFP, showed that these remained in compliance.

Its stock of low-enriched uranium -- used for peaceful purposes, but when further processed for a weapon -- did not exceed the agreed limit of 300 kilogrammes (661 pounds), the report said.

It added that Iran "has not pursued the construction of the Arak... reactor" -- which could give it weapons-grade plutonium -- and has not enriched uranium above low purity levels. 

Iran's stock of heavy water, a reactor coolant, remained below the ceiling of 130 tonnes throughout the previous quarter, with Iran exporting 19.1 tonnes.

Iran has previously inched above an agreed ceiling of 130 tonnes. The plant producing the heavy water was shut for maintenance earlier this year and has now restarted, the IAEA said.

Trump is due in October to certify to Congress whether Iran is sticking to the nuclear deal. 

In July he told the Wall Street Journal he "would be surprised if they were in compliance".

The Guardian this week cited former officials and analysts as saying that the White House is pressuring US intelligence services to produce a justification to declare Iran in violation.

As well as the United States the hard-fought agreement also includes China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany. 

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday there is "no alternative" to the deal.

With much of Iran's dismantled nuclear equipment still physically in Iran -- albeit under IAEA monitoring -- Tehran has warned that it can ramp up its programme again within days.

This would give Trump a second nuclear crisis to add to the standoff over North Korea.

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