IAEA chief says matter of weeks left to revive Iran nuclear diplomacy
Reviving Iran's nuclear deal must happen within the coming weeks, UN atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi said on Monday after Tehran resumed 20% uranium enrichment and its parliament threatened to curb access for UN inspectors in February.
"It is clear that we don’t have many months ahead of us. We have weeks," Grossi said in an interview for the Reuters Next conference.
Iran resumed enriching uranium to 20% fissile strength at the underground Fordow nuclear plant earlier this month in a further breach of the nuclear pact with major powers since the United States withdrew from it in 2018, possibly complicating efforts by US President-elect Joe Biden to rejoin the deal.
Its parliament passed a law in November that obliges the government to halt inspections of its nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency and step up uranium enrichment if US sanctions are not eased.
An Iranian lawmaker said on Jan. 9 said it would give the incoming Biden administration, which takes office on Jan. 20, until Feb. 21 to reverse sanctions.
"I must take it seriously because it's the law," Grossi said, adding that he believed the Islamic Republic's government intended to implement it.
Grossi said Iran was progressing "quite rapidly" in 20% enrichment and that based on estimations it would be able to reach about 10 kilograms a month at its facility in Fordow.
Uranium refined to 20% fissile purity is well above the 5% generally regarded as suitable for producing civilian nuclear energy and shortens Iran's potential path to 90% purity required for a nuclear bomb. Iran denies any intent to weaponise enrichment.
"There will have to be a clear understanding on how the initial terms and provisions of the JCPOA (nuclear deal) are going to be recomplied with," Grossi said.
Tehran started violating the 2015 accord in 2019 in a step-by-step response to President Donald Trump's withdrawal from it in 2018 and to the reimposition of US sanctions that had been rescinded under the deal.
Two Indo-Canadian academics, working on research to advance the betterment of mankind, have been honoured with one of the country's most prestigious awards, the Order of Canada. Their names were in the list published by the office of the governor-general of Canada Mary Simon. Both have been invested (as the bestowal of the awards is described) into the Order as a Member. They are professors Ajay Agrawal and Parminder Raina.
The world's richest person, Elon Musk, has not tweeted in about 10 days and it can't go unnoticed. The 51-year-old business tycoon has 100 million followers on the microblogging site, which he is planning to buy. Since April, he has been making headlines for the $44 billion deal and his comments and concerns about the presence of a large number of fake accounts on Twitter.
The Taliban's reclusive supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada joined a large gathering of nationwide religious leaders in Kabul on Friday, the state news agency said, adding he would give a speech. The Taliban's state-run Bakhtar News Agency confirmed the reclusive leader, who is based in the southern city of Kandahar, was attending the meeting of more than 3,000 male participants from around the country, aimed at discussing issues of national unity.
As the country prepares to celebrate the 155th anniversary of the formation of the Canadian Confederation, Canada Day, the traditional centre of festivities, Parliament Hill in Ottawa, will be off limits as protesters linked to the Freedom Convoy begin gathering in the capital for the long weekend. Various events have been listed by protesters including a march to Parliament Hill on Friday.
A Bulgarian woman dubbed the "Crypto Queen" afteIgnatovahe raised billions of dollars in a fraudulent virtual currency scheme was placed on the FBI's 10 most wanted list Thursday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation put up a $100,000 reward for Ruja Ignatova, who disappeared in Greece in October 2017 around the time US authorities filed a sealed indictment and warrant for her arrest.