Iran has uranium particles enriched to nearly bomb grade: IAEA
"Discussions are still ongoing" to determine the origin of these particles, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a confidential report seen by AFP.
The report said that during an inspection "on 22 January 2023, the agency took environmental samples... at Fordow (sic) Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP), the analytical results of which showed the presence of high enriched uranium particles containing up to 83.7 percent U-235".
"These events clearly indicate the capability of the agency to detect and report in a timely manner changes in the operation of nuclear facilities in Iran," it continued.
Asked about the presence of the particles, Iran said that "unintended fluctuations" during the enrichment process "may have occurred".
Last week, Iran claimed it had not made any attempt to enrich uranium beyond 60 percent.
"The presence of a particle or particles of uranium above 60 percent in the enrichment process does not mean enrichment above 60 percent," said the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Behruz Kamalvandi.
Iran has been enriching uranium well over the limits laid down in a landmark 2015 deal with world powers, which started to unravel when the United States withdrew from it in 2018.
The deal was designed to give Iran much-needed sanctions relief in return for curbs on its atomic programme.
On and off negotiations between world powers to return to the deal started in 2021 but have stalled since last year.