Atomic watchdog calls out Iranian stonewalling as enriched uranium increases exponentially

The nuclear watchdog also noted that in the last month alone, Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has jumped 33 percent.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated in a report Friday to member-states that Iran has exponentially increased its enriched uranium stockpile and is not allowing inspectors to check suspected nuclear sites in the country.

In defiance of the nuclear deal that limited Iran to 203 kg of low-enriched uranium, the nuclear watchdog estimated at the end of May that the Islamic Republic now has eight times that amount – 1,571 kg. Perhaps more worrying is the fact that over a third of this amount was added in the last month alone. The level of the metal’s enrichment also surpasses what is allowed, as it stands at 4.5 percent v. the permitted 3.67 percent.

For use in a nuclear bomb, uranium must be enriched to some 90 percent.

Iran has also stonewalled the IAEA for four months regarding its request to inspect two sites where suspected nuclear-related work was carried out in the early 2000s but never declared by the country’s mullahs. The 2015 deal Iran signed with the world’s major powers demanded that Iran provide a full history of its work in the nuclear field.

According to Reuters, the report described “the possible use and storage of nuclear material at [a] location specified by the agency where outdoor, conventional explosive testing may have taken place in 2003, including in relation to testing of shielding in preparation for the use of neutron detectors.”

“The (IAEA) director general calls on Iran immediately to cooperate fully with the agency, including by providing prompt access to the locations specified,” the report said.

The news agency noted that three sites are discussed in all. The IAEA believes Iran has tried to “sanitize” all of them, meaning the removal of all traces of nuclear activity, such as by leveling the buildings and carting away the rubble, down to the surrounding sand.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed at least one of the sites to the IAEA last September, after Israel went through a huge archive of nuclear files that the Mossad stole from Tehran in a daring raid early in 2018. Israel shared its discoveries with many governments in an attempt to prove Iran’s duplicity regarding a secret nuclear weapons program that Jerusalem believes Iran is still interested in continuing.

In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord with Iran and snapped back economic sanctions on the regime that has hurt it severely. Iran’s gradually increasing violations of the accord’s provisions are meant to pressure the other signatories to help Tehran get around the sanctions.

Read  Iran describes talks with IAEA chief as ‘positive’