- Iran has enough uranium, enriched up to 60% and thus almost weapons-grade, to build three nuclear bombs while still failing to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in vital areas, confidential reports from the UN nuclear watchdog revealed on Wednesday.1
- Iran's stockpile of 60% purity uranium grew by 6.7 kg (14.8 lbs) to 128.3 kg (282.9 lbs) since the last report on Sept. 4, the IAEA said in one of two reports distributed to member states. This equates to more than three times the amount of 42 kg (92.6 pounds) needed for a nuclear bomb if enrichment were to continue.2
- In its quarterly report, the IAEA also estimates that Iran's total stockpile of enriched uranium has increased by 691.3 kg to 4,486.8 kg (9,891.7 lbs) from August. Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran was limited to enriching uranium to 3.67% purity and holding a uranium stockpile of 300 kg (661.4 lbs).3
- The UN agency condemned Tehran's decision, announced in September, to strip several IAEA inspectors of their accreditation as 'extreme and unjustified,' stressing that the move 'directly and seriously' compromised the organization's work.4
- A second IAEA report issued on Tuesday said that no progress was made in investigating uranium traces found at several undeclared sites in Iran. It also notes there had been no advances in reinstalling additional monitoring equipment that was removed last year on Tehran's instructions.5
- Major world powers reached a deal with Iran in 2015 aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions. After the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal under President Donald Trump and reimposed sanctions, Tehran resumed its nuclear activities while efforts to revive the deal have so far failed.6
- Pro-Iran narrative, as provided by PressTV. While the allegedly autonomous IAEA condemns Iran's uranium enrichment to 60% purity, the West prefers to conceal the fact that Iran's move is a reaction to the breach of commitments by certain signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal. Moreover — unlike many other countries in the world — Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons but is rather sending a message that illegal sanctions must be lifted. It's ludicrous for Washington to unilaterally terminate the nuclear deal and reimpose draconian sanctions while demanding strict compliance from Tehran.
- Anti-Iran narrative, as provided by Politico. The new IAEA report proves yet again that Iran is closer than ever to building nuclear weapons. With the 2015 nuclear deal, the West aimed to control the threat posed by the Iranian regime but succumbed to the false assumption that Tehran is a rational actor. A nuclear weapon in the hands of the ruling mullahs, combined with Iran's increasingly advanced missile technology, could have apocalyptic consequences. The only way for the West to avert this scenario is to maximize military, economic, and diplomatic pressure on the regime in Tehran.