The Times West Virginian

Obituaries

April 18, 2014

Nuke-arms grade stock has been cut by Iran

According to report by U.N. atomic agency

VIENNA — Iran has converted three quarters of a nuclear stockpile that it could have turned quickly into weapons-grade uranium into less volatile forms and is well on the way toward transforming the rest, the U.N. atomic agency reported Thursday.

The development — agreed to by Iran under a nuclear deal it struck late last year with six world powers — leaves Tehran with substantially less of the 20-percent enriched uranium that it would need for a nuclear warhead.

Iran denies any interest in atomic arms. But it agreed to some nuclear concessions in exchange for a partial lifting of sanctions crippling its economy under the deal, which took effect in January.

Uranium at 20 percent is only a technical step away from weapons-grade material. By the time the agreement was reached late last year, Iran had amassed nearly 200 kilograms (440 pounds). With further enrichment, that would have yielded almost enough weapons-grade uranium for one atomic weapon — a threshold that Israel had vowed to prevent Iran from reaching by any means possible.

Under the agreement, Iran agreed to stop enriching to grades beyond 5 percent, the level most commonly used to power reactors. It also committed to neutralizing all its 20-percent stockpile — half by diluting to a grade that is less proliferation-prone and the rest by conversion to oxide used for reactor fuel.

In line with information given to The Associated Press by diplomats earlier this week, the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Thursday that Iran had completed the dilution process.

The confidential IAEA report obtained by the AP also said conversion was well underway, with over 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of the 20-percent material rendered into oxide.

Iran has until July to fulfill all of its commitments under the deal. But it has to show progress in exchange for sanctions relief, and it is eager to get its hand on the next tranche of some $4.2 billion of oil revenue funds that were frozen under international sanctions meant to force it into nuclear compromise.

It already has received more than half of that amount in exchange for step-by-step implementation of the agreement and the U.S. State Department announced Thursday that — with the IAEA confirming that dilution was completed — another $450 million installment was being released.

Up to now, “all sides have kept the commitments” they signed on to, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters in Washington.  

The November deal between Iran and the six — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — is meant to lead to a comprehensive deal placing long-term caps on Iran’s enrichment program and other atomic activities in exchange for full sanctions relief. The two sides hope to reach agreement by July but can extend negotiations if both agree to do so.

Beyond its commitments to neutralize its 20-percent uranium stock, the IAEA report said that Iran also was complying with other obligations under the six-month interim plan, which restricts Tehran from expanding any activities that could be turned toward making a nuclear weapon.

 

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Obituaries
  • Charles “Chuck” Pollack III

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    Arrangements are entrusted to the Hutson Funeral Home in Mannington and are incomplete. www.hutsonfuneralhomes.com.

    July 28, 2014

  • OB- Cutright.jpg Merle Cutright Sr.

    Merle Melvin Cutright Sr., 75, of Baxter, passed away on Sunday (July 27, 2014) at Fairmont General Hospital. He was born on April 29, 1939, a son of the late William Oliver and Helen Natalynn Miele Cutright. He is survived by his loving wife, Dorothy L. Cutright of Baxter.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Karen Carpenter

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    July 27, 2014

  • John Gray

    John Alfred Gray, 92, of Fairmont, passed away Friday evening, July 25, 2014, in the Genesis Pierpont Healthcare Center.

    July 27, 2014

  • Myra Riddle

    Myra “Lou” Riddle, 80, of Farmington, went to be with the Lord and her family who went before her on Thursday, July 24, 2014, at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown with her family by her side.

    July 27, 2014

  • Carl Stewart

    Carl Lee Stewart, 78, of Fairmont, formerly of Mannington, died Friday, July 25, 2014, at Fairmont General Hospital.

    July 27, 2014

  • Myra Riddle

    Myra “Lou” Riddle, 80, of Farmington, went to be with the Lord and her family who went before her on Thursday, July 24, 2014, at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, with her family by her side.

    July 26, 2014

  • Karen Carpenter

    Karen Joyce Carpenter, 61, of Fairmont, went to be with her precious Savior on Thursday (July 24, 2014) at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown following an extended illness.

    July 26, 2014

  • June Rinehart

    Jacqueline June Rinehart, 83, of Mannington, died Thursday, July 24, 2014, at Fairmont General Hospital.

    July 26, 2014

  • Thomas Byrd

    Thomas A. “T-Byrd” Byrd, 50, of Pennsylvania Avenue, Fairmont, passed away Thursday evening in Fairmont General Hospital.

    July 26, 2014

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