Iran Agrees to Scale Back Uranium Enrichment

Tehran inks deal to halt production of “20%” enriched uranium

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Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's Kremlin on Jan. 16, 2014.

U.N. officials announced on Monday that Iran has inked a historic agreement with six world powers to scale back production of medium-grade uranium.

“In line with the implementation of the Geneva joint plan of action, Iran suspended the production of 20% enriched uranium in the presence of U.N. nuclear watchdog inspectors at Natanz and Fordo sites,” said Mohammad Amiri, director general for safeguards at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

According to the deal, Tehran will suspend the 20% uranium enrichment program, convert half of its enriched uranium stockpile to oxide and dilute the remaining half during the next six months.

However, the agreement allows Iran to continue producing 5% enriched uranium. On Saturday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a group of reporters that his government was prepared to commence talks with the West regarding a permanent accord.