The United States has expressed concern regarding reports that Iran has increased production of uranium suitable for use in nuclear weapons. US Eyes Documents Iran has expedited the enrichment of uranium.
A National Security Council spokesperson for the White House issued the remarks late on Tuesday in response to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that warned Tehran has accelerated production of the high-grade material.
“The US spokesperson added that Iran-backed proxies continue their dangerous and destabilizing activities in the region, including the recent deadly drone attack and other attempted attacks in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Houthi attacks against commercial shipping vessels in the Red Sea,” which makes the country’s nuclear escalation all the more problematic.
According to a report to member states from the United Nations atomic watchdog, Iran has resumed production of near-weapons-grade uranium in recent weeks, reversing a previous decline that began in the middle of 2023.
In the past, Iran implemented a reduction in the rate of uranium enrichment, which involved increasing the concentration of uranium-235, the isotope utilized in nuclear fission, to 60% purity. Uranium enriched to 60 percent is near 90 percent, suitable for weapons purposes. Nuclear power plants have a 3.67 percent requirement.
Inspectors of the IAEA confirmed that production at facilities in Natanz and Fordow had increased to approximately 9kg (20lb) per month since the end of November. Iran maintained This same output level throughout the first half of 2023, except for a decline to 3kg (6.6lb) per month in June.
Wednesday, Iran’s atomic energy chief refuted the concern, stating that the country is operating “per the rules” and has not undertaken any “novel actions.”
Iranian media report that Mohammad Eslami, Iran’s atomic energy chief, disregarded the IAEA warnings on Wednesday.”We maintained the same activities under the rules and did nothing new,” he explained.
Officials from Iran have maintained a steadfast stance that they do not possess any intentions or plans to develop nuclear weapons.
Increased tensions Iran appeared to have halted its enrichment program in early July of this year as a prelude to the resumption of informal nuclear treaty negotiations with the United States. The Israel-Gaza conflict, however, has exacerbated tensions between the United States and Iran.
Iran’s estimated stockpile of enriched uranium has surpassed 22 times the limit established in a 2015 accord between Tehran and world powers, which restricted Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of sanctions, according to a confidential report published by the IAEA last month.
According to the report, Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile was valued at 4,486.8kg (9,891.7lb) as of October 28. This figure represents an increase of 693.1 kilograms (1,528lb) since August. The restriction outlined in the 2015 agreement was 202.8kg (447lb). However, that accord ended in 2018 when Donald Trump, then-president of the United States, withdrew the country. President Joe Biden has tried to reestablish the accord via negotiations in Vienna; however, the progress has stagnated since the summer of 2022.
Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel did not contribute to the escalating hostility; Iran had already extended its support to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The IAEA complained in September regarding Tehran’s apparent obstruction of access for a number of its most seasoned inspectors to observe the nation’s nuclear program.