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Iran Slows Production of Enriched Uranium, U.N. Official Says

WorldIran Slows Production of Enriched Uranium, U.N. Official Says

In another indication that Iran may be seeking to de-escalate its confrontation with the United States, United Nations nuclear inspectors are seeing some signs that Tehran is lifting its foot, if just a bit, on the acceleration of its nuclear program.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in an interview that Iran was still adding to its supply of uranium enriched to 60 percent purity — which can rapidly be further enriched to the level needed to produce nuclear weapons. But the surge in production that began just after the Israeli military action in Gaza in response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack appears to have abated, he said.

“There is a bit of a slowing down,” Mr. Grossi said, adding, “They are still adding to the stockpile but more slowly.”

Mr. Grossi has been engaged in years of jousting with Iran over the restrictions it has placed on inspectors, and its dismantling of cameras and other sensors at key locations in the country’s now vast — and dispersed — nuclear fuel production program.

Divining Iran’s intentions from its enriched uranium production is difficult, but over the years the rate has been more closely linked to the level of tension in Iran’s relationships with the United States and Israel than it has been with the technical necessities of production.

In recent days, after a drone attack linked to an Iran-allied group killed three American service members in Jordan, Tehran has repeatedly signaled that it does not want a direct confrontation with the United States.

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