International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and Iranian technicians shut down the uranium enrichment process at Iran’s Natanz nuclear power plant in January 2014 as a preface to the coming JCPOA nuclear deal. Iran now says it has resumed enrichment, and might start restricting access to inspectors. (Kazem Ghane/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran Claims to have Enough Enriched Uranium for Nuclear Weapon

An aide to Iran’s top nuclear official has claimed that the Islamic Republic has produced enough low-enriched uranium to make a dash for a nuclear bomb. The adviser to the head of Tehran’s atomic energy agency was quoted by media as saying that Iran had manufactured more than 1,200 kg. (2,650 lb.) of the substance – well over the widely agreed-upon threshold of 1,000 kg. that must then be enriched to a purity of 90% in order to create fissile material for a nuclear weapon. In November, the International Atomic Energy Agency pegged Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium at just over 370 kg., and less than two weeks ago, the head of Israel’s military suggested that Tehran would not obtain 1,300 kg. until at least the end of the year. The apparent revelation – which some have categorized as disinformation – comes after Iranian leaders earlier this month announced that they would no longer abide by any restrictions placed on their uranium enrichment program under a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal. Shortly thereafter, Britain, France and Germany, which, along with Russia and China, are the remaining parties to the accord, triggered the pact’s dispute-resolution mechanism in response to Iranian violations.

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