Russia removes Iran's enriched uranium as per nuke deal
Kerry indicated both steps were completed Monday, announcing that more than 25,000 pounds (12.5 tons) of enriched "uranium materials" were in the hold of a Russian ship steaming toward Russia.
The diplomat demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to be identified by name. Low-enriched uranium is suited to power generation but can be further enriched to arm nuclear warheads.
The July 14 deal aims to reduce Iran's ability to make nuclear weapons - something Tehran says it has no interest in. He said the shipment included the near-20 percent enriched uranium that had not yet been turned into fuel plates. Kerry said the export of enriched uranium means a significant move toward that goal by more than tripling "our previous two-three month breakout timeline". At that time, the "breakout time", or the amount of time Iran would need to obtain enough nuclear material to make a nuclear weapon, will be one year.
A key provision of the agreement, negotiated by Iran with the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany, is Tehran's commitment to reduce its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to below 660 pounds (300 kg).
Implementation Day refers to the date when the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Vienna-based United Nations nuclear watchdog, confirms Iran has taken a series of steps to curb its nuclear programme, paving the way to U.S., European Union and United Nations sanctions relief.
That stage of the deal, known as implementation day, is expected sometime next month.