Iran nuclear chief claims country has far more enriched uranium than IAEA estimates

Speaking on state TV, Iran's nuclear chief Mohammed Eslami claimed that the country has far more enriched uranium than the International Atomic Energy Agency estimates.

Iran nuclear chief claims country has far more enriched uranium than IAEA estimates
AP Photo/Lisa Leutner
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Iran’s nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami says that the country has far more enriched uranium than what was reported by the United Nations’ nuclear inspectors last month.

Speaking to the public on Iranian state television over the weekend, Eslami claims Iran has 120kg of 20 per cent enriched uranium. The figure is well above the estimation provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which said Iran possessed 84.3kg of the material.

As detailed by Radio Liberty, it takes around 170kg of 20 per cent enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb. However, most nuclear weapons used enriched uranium above 90 per cent.

In 2015, Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, inked a deal with the international community, barring it from enriching uranium beyond 3.67 per cent. In exchange, other signatories agreed to provide Iran with 20 per cent enriched uranium for its research reactor.

Eslami claims that the material was not delivered to Iran, and argued that it was necessary for them to produce it themselves to meet the country’s energy demands.

“But it was not delivered,” Eslami said. “If we did not produce it by ourselves, this would have become a problem.”

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the so-called “Iran deal,” provides Iran with sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. Tehran, for its part, insists that the program is peaceful and that it is only designed to help the country become energy independent. The deal was championed by then-president Barack Obama, which was lambasted by Republicans, Israelis, and the Gulf states.

Despite Tehran’s claims, ample evidence suggests that Iran has more martial endeavours, and that it intends to weaponize its nuclear stockpile.

In 2018, the United States under former president Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 agreement and reimposed sanctions on Iran. The United States that the JCPOA failed to address Iran’s ballistic missile program, or its financial and materiel-based support for terrorist groups worldwide.

Following the U.S. withdrawal by Trump, other signatories — including France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia — have tried to preserve it, and have beckoned U.S. President Joe Biden to renew his support for the Iran deal.

President Biden has said he is open to rejoining the JCPOA, but discussions with Iran have failed to be fruitful since his inauguration.

As reported by Rebel News, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has warned that the country will take imminent action against Iran’s nuclear program, and warned that Tehran’s march towards nuclear weapons is unacceptable.

“Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning,” Bennett said. “There are those in the world who seem to view Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality, as a done deal, or they’ve just become tired of hearing about it. Israel doesn’t have that privilege. We cannot tire. We will not tire. Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”

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  • By Ezra Levant

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