Photo Credit: International Peace Institute / Wikipedia
Robert Malley on May 5, 2017

Iran now has enough highly-enriched uranium to be able to produce a nuclear bomb “within a matter of weeks,” US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley said Tuesday during an interview with National Public Radio (NPR).

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“To our knowledge, they have not resumed their weaponization program, which is what they would need to develop a bomb. But we’re, of course, alarmed, as are our partners, about the progress they’ve made in the enrichment field, and that’s why we think that getting back to the deal is in our nonproliferation interest. We think it’s their interest because they’d get sanctions lifted. But, of course, that’s an assessment that they alone have to make,” he said.

The envoy warned that Iran already has enough highly enriched uranium on hand to make a bomb, should they choose to do so. “It would take them a matter of weeks,” he said, adding that the US would know, would see and would “react quite forcefully, as you could imagine.”

Malley told NPR that Iran has added new demands to its negotiations with the US and world powers over reviving the moribund 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal – demands, he said, that have “nothing to do with the nuclear deal.”

The demands include things “they’ve wanted in the past that clearly we and the Europeans and others have said are not part of this negotiation.”

Basically, he said, Iran needs to reach a decision as to whether they are prepared to come back into compliance with the deal. The US and Europe, he added, is prepared to do the same.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.