Iran has denied enriching uranium to 84 percent purity, just six percent shy of weapons grade material for a nuclear weapon – this, after a report by Bloomberg News said inspectors from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency discovered traces last week of the high-enriched nuclear fuel.
IAEA Shocked to Discover Iran Enriching Uranium Just 6% Shy of Weapons Grade
The IAEA said Sunday that it was discussing the results of the verification activities that led to the report. The nuclear watchdog said in a tweet that it was “aware of recent media reports relating to uranium enrichment levels in Iran.
“The IAEA is discussing with Iran the results of recent Agency verification activities and will inform the IAEA Board of Governors as appropriate,” the watchdog added.
The IAEA Board of Governors is set to meet on March 6 in Vienna.
“So far, we have not made any attempt to enrich above 60 percent,” Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesperson, Behrouz Kamalvandi claimed Monday, according to the official IRNA news agency.
Kamalvandi added that the report is a “sort of demonization and distortion of facts because the existence of a particle or particles of uranium with a purity of more than 60 percent in the enrichment process does not mean there is enrichment higher than 60 percent.”
He urged the member states of the IAEA to “take care of the professional status of the organization,” saying they “should not allow the international entity to be misused for political purposes.”
But Iran has been enriching uranium to at least 60 percent purity for more than a year. It would take little effort and less time to further enrich that uranium to a 90 percent purity. Moreover, the huge amount of enriched uranium already created by Iran poses a worldwide threat.
Speaking last month in Brussels before members of the European Parliament’s security and defense committee, IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi warned last month that the Islamic Republic has accumulated 70 kilograms of uranium enriched to 60 percent purity, with another 1,000 kilograms enriched to 20 percent purity.
“One thing is true: They have amassed enough nuclear material for several nuclear weapons — not one at this point,” he warned.
Grossi also said the IAEA is no longer monitoring Iran’s nuclear program because the regime has disconnected 27 of the agency’s cameras installed at its declared nuclear sites.
Iran continues to claim that its nuclear program exists for civilian, peaceful purposes only. But civilian nuclear power plants require uranium enriched only to five percent – making it clear that Iran’s nuclear program is directed at military, not civilian use.