The International Atomic Energy Agency's quarterly report – the first since relative moderate Hassan Rouhani won Iran's June presidential election – also said the Islamic state had started making fuel assemblies for a reactor which the West fears could yield nuclear bomb material. Iran denies any such aim.
On the other hand, Iran's most sensitive nuclear stockpile has grown little – remaining below its arch-enemy Israel's stated "red line" that could provoke military action – since the previous IAEA report in May. This could buy time for more negotiations with six world powers.
The IAEA report showed Iran continuing to press ahead with its disputed nuclear programme at a time when the outside world is waiting to see if Rouhani will act to ease tension with the Islamic Republic's Western critics.