Seemingly out of nowhere Iran almost triples their stockpile of enriched uranium during a period of about three months, violating an agreement with the rest of the Western world.
According to Fox News, “the International Atomic Energy Agency made the statement in a confidential report distributed to member countries that was seen by The Associated Press;” in which “the agency said as of Feb. 19, Iran’s total stockpile of low-enriched uranium amounted to 1,020.9 kilograms (1.1 tons), compared to 372.3 kilograms on Nov. 3, 2019.”
The Arms Control Association estimates Iran would only need 1050 kilograms of low enrichment uranium to create enough highly enriched, weapons grade uranium for a nuclear weapon.
A tripling of Iran’s nuclear stockpiles over such a short period of time is worthy of concern. A buildup of this size puts Iran within reach of creating its own set of nuclear weapons and signals their ability to rapidly enrich more uranium over a short period of time.
After the 2015 signing of the Iran Nuclear Deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran was limited to a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms of uranium. The uranium held by Iran in November of 2019 was already almost double that of their agreed maximum.
The amount held by Iran on February 19th is more than 5x how much they’re allowed to keep.
While the United States backed out of the deal in 2018 and subsequently reinstalled sanctions in response to Iran’s aggressive acts in the region, the agreement is still in place between Iran, the European Union, Russia, and China.
Fox reports, “the JCPOA promised Iran economic incentives in return for the curbs on its nuclear program, but since President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal unilaterally in 2018, Iran has been slowly violating the deal’s restrictions.”
Tehran is likely trying to leverage its nuclear stockpile in order to get the U.S. to lower sanctions on Iran for the laundry list of attacks against the United States and the West.
While we are aware of the 1020 Kilograms of nuclear material Iran boasts about, “the IAEA said it had identified three locations in Iran where the country possibly stored undeclared nuclear material or undertook nuclear-related activities without declaring it to international observers.” There could be hundred, or thousands of unknown nuclear materials scattered throughout the terrorist funding state, and the unknown of exactly how much uranium Iran has enriched is more frightening than what is already known.
While there’s no evidence of them synthesizing uranium for nuclear weapons, Iran has been regularly testing ballistic missiles since 2017, so the potential is real, especially if done in secrecy.
“Iran has been violating other restrictions in the JCPOA, including the stock of heavy water it is allowed and the number and type of centrifuges it operates,” Fox also reported. They’ve been transparent, yet defiant with their continuous violations of the agreement.
Ali Asghar Zaren, a close aide to Iran’s Nuclear Chief, said, “Iran is increasing its stockpile of the enriched uranium with full speed.” He claims their stockpile is greater than 1,200 kilograms, more than enough for a nuclear warhead.
Categories: World News