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UN nuclear chief says Iran has cut stock of weapons-grade uranium in half

Iran UN Nuclear meetings mar 3.JPG

March 3, 2014 - Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Reza Najafi waits for the start of the IAEA board of governors meeting at the International Center in Vienna, Austria. The head of the U.N. nuclear agency says Iran has cut its stock of uranium that is closest to atomic weapons-grade. Under an interim deal with six world powers, Iran is to dilute half of its 20-percent-enriched uranium to a lower grade suitable for use as reactor fuel. (AP)

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency says Iran has cut its stock of uranium that is closest to atomic weapons-grade.

Under an interim deal with six world powers, Iran is to dilute half of its 20-percent-enriched uranium to a lower grade suitable for use as reactor fuel. Yukiya Amano told the agency's 35-nation board Monday that that process "has reached the halfway mark."

The other half of the uranium is to be changed into a form that is relatively difficult to reconvert to 20 percent.

Uranium enriched to 20 percent is only a technical step away from the 90-percent level needed for weapons.

Tehran denies wanting nuclear arms but has agreed to temporarily curb atomic work in exchange for sanctions relief as the sides work on a fuller deal.