The Iranian regime increased its enriched uranium reserves by 40.5% between November and February with a purity of up to 60%, a level close to that necessary to manufacture atomic bombs, warned the IAEA, the UN nuclear agency.
In a report issued in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) specifies that the stocks of this material already reach 87.5 kilos, while uranium enriched up to 20% reaches 434.7 kilos, 12% more than in November.
On the other hand, the IAEA confirms that a sample taken in January at the Fordo underground facility (south of Tehran) returned particles of 83.7% enriched uranium, which Iran explains as “unintentional fluctuation”.
In order to make nuclear weapons, uranium enriched with a purity of between 80 and 90% is needed, although Iran claims that it enriches its uranium for medical applications.
In a letter sent to the IAEA on February 20, Iran assures that uranium enriched above 80% “could have occurred during a transition period when launching the process (of enriching up to 60%) or when changing cylinders to feed centrifuges (to enrich uranium)”.
As the IAEA explains, “Discussions between the organization and Iran to clarify this matter continue”.
On the other hand, the inspectors specify in the document that during an unannounced visit in January to Fordo they realized that the Iranian technicians had interconnected some gas centrifuges in a different way than what was announced.
The Iranian regime then informed the body that it had chosen in mid-January to operate in this new way.
According to the IAEA, not having previously informed the inspectors is “inconsistent” with Iran’s nuclear safeguards (controls) agreement.
Faced with this situation, the IAEA informed the Islamic Republic of its intention to increase the frequency of its inspections and verifications in Fordo.
The total stored enriched uranium, in different purities, rose 2.4% to 3,760 kilos since November 2022, a level well above the 300 kilos allowed by the 2015 international agreement known as JCPOA, for its acronym in English.
The inspectors stress once again that Iran’s decision to disconnect dozens of IAEA surveillance and verification cameras hampers its ability to give assurances about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
That’s why, surveillance and verification activities are “seriously affected”says the IAEA, which must verify compliance with Iran’s nuclear obligations under the JCPOA.
According to this agreement, which has remained in limbo for several years, after the withdrawal of the treaty by the United States, Iran must limit its nuclear program in exchange for incentives and economic relief, mainly the lifting of international sanctions, which damage its economy. .
The countries that signed the agreement in 2015 (the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Iran) have been trying to restore the agreement since the arrival of Democrat Joe Biden to the presidency of the United States in January 2021, but the Negotiations have been stalled for months.
Against the background of the war in Ukraine and Iran’s military support for Russia, the re-establishment of the JCPOA is in question.
With information from EFE
International observers have detected that the Iranian regime is close to having enough uranium to make a nuclear weapon.
The UN has warned that Iran has enough highly enriched uranium to build “various” nuclear weapons.