“Iran is already ready for the atomic bomb”

Iran may be one step away from the atomic bomb. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) denounced that Tehran’s stockpiles of enriched uranium are 18 times the limit set in the international nuclear deal signed in 2015. Most notably, the IAEA found particles of up to 83.7 percent enriched uranium. The % is just under the 90% required to produce a nuclear bomb.

According to AFP, the agency’s report cites a discovery made after sample collection in January at the Fordo underground plant, which has long been the focus of international attention with its enriched uranium production. The IAEA has asked for “explanations” to determine the origin of these particles, and “discussion is still ongoing,” adding that the report will be available next week.

Iran, which denies its desire to acquire atomic weapons, in a letter to the Agency, for its part, condemned the “involuntary fluctuations” in the enrichment process. Tehran said last week that it “has not attempted to enrich above 60%”. Behrouz Kemalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Nuclear Energy Agency, reacted, “The presence of particles above 60 percent does not mean that (uranium) has been enriched by more than 60 percent.”

The news comes as talks stalled to revive an agreement reached in 2015 to limit Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. They started in Vienna in April 2021 between Tehran and the major powers, but have been thwarted in the context of escalating tensions since August 2022. Known by the acronym JCPOA, the deal had already been diluted by the US’ decision to withdraw in 2018, agreed upon by then-President Donald Trump. Iran, for its part, has slowly been freed from its commitments. Thus, the total stockpiles of enriched uranium reached 3,760.8 kg on February 12 (versus 3,673.7 kg in October), more than 18 times the limit allowed by the JCPOA, according to IAEA estimates.

Source: Today IT