UN nuke inspectors uncover Iran enriching uranium to 84% purity – near weapons-grade

It is the closest ever to the 90% weapons-grade level needed to build a nuclear bomb.

By World Israel News Staff

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency last week discovered uranium enriched to 84% purity in Iran, the closest it’s ever been to the 90% weapons-grade level, Bloomberg reported on Sunday.

The report, citing two senior diplomats, said IAEA inspectors are trying to determine if it was an intentional move on Tehran’s part or if an “unintended accumulation within the network of pipes connecting the hundreds of fast-spinning centrifuges used to separate the isotopes.”

Iranian centrifuges had been enriching uranium to 60% purity, according to the U.N. atomic watchdog’s last report on the matter.

The IAEA criticized Iran earlier this month for making an undeclared modification to the connection between the two clusters of sophisticated machines at its Fordow plant to up to 60% purity, a discovery that IAEA inspectors made at a surprise visit to the site on Jan. 21.

The IAEA stated in a confidential report to member states obtained by Reuters that “they were interconnected in a way that was substantially different from the mode of operation declared by Iran.”

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi last month said the tattered 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers was nothing more than an “empty shell,” and that Tehran had enough nuclear material for several atomic bombs should it continue to enrich uranium.