Iran is reportedly escalating its enrichment of uranium through the use of advanced centrifuges at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, a United Nations watchdog report states.
The report, which was revealed to Reuters, indicates that Iran is well on its way to developing a nuclear arsenal and comes amid U.S. President Joe Biden’s repeated efforts to court the oil-rich nation to get back into Obama’s nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was terminated under the Trump administration.
Trump argued that Iran had no intention of fulfilling its side of the bargain and had continued to enrich uranium against the agreement between Iran and the United States not to develop nuclear weapons.
The new report comes after an overwhelming majority of nations on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors condemned the Islamic nation for failing to explain the presence of uranium at sites the country refused to disclose.
“IAEA inspectors verified on Saturday that Iran was ready to feed uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas, the material centrifuges enrich, into the second of two cascades, or clusters, of IR-6 centrifuges installed at Fordow, a site dug into mountain,” Reuters reported. “Iran informed the IAEA on Monday that passivation of the cascade, a process that precedes enrichment and also involves feeding UF6 into the machines, had begun on Sunday.”
The advanced centrifuges have the capacity to alter the level of purity at which they enrich uranium, which would ostensibly allow Iran to boost the production of the purity of uranium needed to manufacture nuclear bombs.
“At a different site, Iran is already enriching to up to 60%, close to the roughly 90% of weapons-grade and far above the 2015 deal’s cap of 3.67%,” the report added. “In response to the Board of Governors’ resolution, Iran has ordered the removal of IAEA cameras installed under the 2015 deal and pressed ahead with the installation of IR-6 centrifuges at an underground plant at Natanz where the deal lets it enrich but only with far less efficient IR-1 machines.”
The IAEA stated last month in a widely-disclosed report that Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile had reached critical levels — enough to produce a nuclear weapon.
As reported by the Daily Wire, multiple negotiators who worked on behalf of the Biden administration resigned because of Biden’s apparent weakness in dealing with Iran in the renewed attempts to bring Iran back to the negotiating table.
“The IAEA reported that Iran’s stockpile of 60% highly enriched uranium had reached 43.3 kilograms, equivalent to 95.5 pounds,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “A person close to the IAEA said Iran’s stockpile of 60% is now above the so-called significant quantity that defines how much nuclear material could be needed for a nuclear weapon.”
Experts who spoke to the publication assert that Iran can now quickly convert 60% enriched uranium into the 90% enriched uranium needed to produce a nuclear bomb.