Iran makes uranium metal for nuclear research -UN

Iran has started producing uranium metal, a material that could be used to make the core of an atomic weapon.

That's according to a report from the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency on Wednesday.

The U.N atomic watchdog confirmed about 3 grams of the uranium metal was produced at Iran's Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant in Esfahan.

Earlier this week, reports confirmed that the metal material was not enriched.

According to the IAEA report and another seen by Reuters, Tehran plans to enrich the uranium metal to 20 percent, short of the 90 percent considered weapons grade.

Last year, Iran passed a law calling for the opening of a uranium metal plant for nuclear weapon research in response to the killing of its top nuclear scientist in November.

This is the latest breach of its nuclear deal with major powers, a pattern in recent months that's made it more difficult for the U.S. to re-enter the agreement.

Iran began breaching the deal in 2019 when former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

The 2015 deal was to limit the amount of nuclear material Iran could produce at one time.

Instead of its usual 2-3 months timeline, the agreement ensures it would take at least a year to create an atomic weapon.

Tehran has always denied pursuing nuclear weapons and says its program is for peaceful purposes.