Iran nuclear program goes underground, further breaching 2015 deal

The move is likely a preemptive attempt to thwart air attacks which could be launched against an above-ground site.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

On the heels of a bombshell report that revealed Iran has violated its 2015 nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic has finished moving a large batch of centrifuges to an underground plant.

The move is likely a preemptive attempt to thwart air attacks which could be launched against an above-ground site.

In July 2020, an alleged nuclear development plant in the city of Natanz was destroyed by a mysterious blast and blaze, which some Iranian government officials blamed on the United States and Israel.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced on Wednesday that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium had reached 2,442.9 kilograms this month, marking 12 times the amount allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal.

The IAEI said Iran is currently enriching uranium to a purity of 4.5 percent, which is higher than the 3.67 percent permitted in the deal.

According to the IAEI report, the Iranian government told the nuclear watchdog group that Iran’s goal is to “concentrate” all its enrichment research and development – a phrase which is almost exclusively used for advanced centrifuges – to an underground plant.

The report also explained that uranium particles were found in areas that had not previously been declared to the IAEI.

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“A full and prompt explanation from Iran regarding the presence of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin … at a location in Iran not declared to the Agency, is needed,” it added.

Iranian officials provided an explanation, but “the agency informed Iran that it continues to consider Iran’s response to be not technically credible.”

The group is still processing samples collected in September from two alleged Iranian nuclear development sites.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud rang the alarm on Thursday, calling on the world to take “a decisive stance” to stop Iranian nuclear weapon development efforts.

“The kingdom stresses the dangers of Iran’s regional project, its interference in other countries, its fostering of terrorism, its fanning the flames of sectarianism and calls for a decisive stance from the international community against Iran that guarantees a drastic handling of its efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction and develop its ballistic missiles program.”