Senior Obama administration officials are defending Iranian nuclear violations in the aftermath of a bombshell report published Wednesday by the United Nations indicating that Iran has failed to live up to its nuclear-related obligations, according to sources apprised of the situation.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) disclosed yesterday that Iran has failed to meet its commitments under the interim Joint Plan of Action to convert recently enriched uranium gas to powder.
While Iran has reduced the amount of enriched uranium gas in its stockpiles, it has failed to dispose of these materials in a way that satisfies the requirements of the nuclear accord struck with the United States and other powers in 2013.
Secretary of State John Kerry declared last summer that Iran would be forced to comply with such restrictions, and State Department officials were assuring reporters as recently as last month that the Iranians would meet their obligations.
Wednesday’s disclosure by the IAEA sent the State Department rushing to downplay the Iranian violation.
Obama administration officials insisted that despite Iran’s failure to meet its obligations, negotiations were still on track and that Tehran would face no repercussions.
One U.S. official who spoke with the Associated Press on Wednesday said that instead of converting its uranium gas into uranium dioxide powder as required, Iran had transformed it into another substance. The IAEA found that Iran had converted just 9 percent of the relevant stockpile into uranium dioxide.
The official went on to downplay concerns about Iran’s violation, claiming that Tehran was only having some “technical problems.”
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