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The groundbreaking ceremony of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, held in Bushehr, Iran, on Nov. 10, 2019. Photo: Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iran continues to produce uranium metal, which can be used in the creation of nuclear bombs, the United Nation’s atomic watchdog said Tuesday, AP reports.

Why it matters: The continued production of uranium metal further complicates any possible revival of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, AP notes.

Driving the news: Producing uranium metal is prohibited by the 2015 nuclear deal — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — which gives Iran economic incentives for limits on its nuclear program.

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Tuesday that Iran has produced 200 grams of uranium metal enriched up to 20%, per AP.
  • The IAEA had said in February that inspectors confirmed that a plant in Iran produced 3.6 grams of uranium metal.
  • Iran maintains the uranium metal is for its civilian nuclear program, saying it is not interested in developing a nuclear bomb, AP reports.

The big picture: Iran has steadily increased its violations of JCPOA following the United States' withdrawal of the nuclear deal in 2018 under former President Trump. Tehran seeks incentives from other signatories to offset sanctions imposed by the United States, according to AP.

  • President Biden has expressed openness to rejoining the deal, but said that Iran needs to reinstate its restrictions, while Iran has said that the U.S. must drop all sanctions.

What they're saying: "Iran has no credible need to produce uranium metal, which has direct relevance to nuclear weapons development," U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement, per AP.

  • "Such escalations will not provide Iran negotiating leverage in any renewed talks on a mutual return to JCPOA compliance and will only lead to Iran’s further isolation," Price said.

Go deeper: U.S. struggling to engage with Iran over nuclear deal

Go deeper

Updated Oct 12, 2021 - World

Kim Jong-un blames U.S. for tensions as Pyongyang showcases weaponry

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and military members stand next to what appears to be a hypersonic missile at the National Defense Development Exhibition "Self-Defense 2021," according to the Korean Central News Agency. Photo: KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declared while attending a weapons exhibition that the country had "invincible" defense capabilities as he accused the U.S. of being the source of regional tensions, state media reported Tuesday.

Why it matters: Kim said in a speech at Monday's event that the country was strengthening its weapons arsenal but didn't want a war, per the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.