Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency found that Iran had once again enriched uranium to 60 percent. Tehran previously halted production. Washington is alarmed.
The last visit probably took place on December 24. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors were able to confirm at the Natanz and Fordow nuclear power plants what the Iranian regime had already announced weeks ago: Tehran has increased its production of highly enriched uranium. In the past few weeks, the two plants have produced about nine kilograms of uranium enriched to 60 percent purity. In summer it was three kilos.
The IAEA reckons that about 42 kilograms of uranium enriched to 60 percent would theoretically make a nuclear bomb possible. In principle, weapons-grade uranium should be enriched to 90 percent. According to experts, only one more technological step is required to enrich it to 60 to 90 percent.
Iran has already enriched uranium to 60 percent purity in the past; In March, researchers at Ford found uranium particles more than 80 percent enriched. Perhaps an oversight, as it was said at the time, that at least the IAEA was able to identify very small amounts. Overall, the regime cut production this summer. Tehran began secret talks with Washington that eventually led to the release of five Americans from Iranian custody and five Iranians from U.S. custody. In addition, Iran had access to six billion US dollars of its own assets – only for humanitarian purposes, Washington never tired of insisting. Funds freeze in South Korea due to international sanctions.
Attack on cargo ships
But no sooner had the prisoners been released than the edges hardened again. Iran began revoking the accreditation of IAEA inspectors, questioning the agency's neutrality. Only a third of the original team remained. On the other hand, the Vienna-based Atomic Energy Commission urgently warned Tehran against going it alone, especially since Tehran supports militant groups in the Middle East that destabilize the entire region.
It is an open secret that Iran supports the militant Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In addition, Yemen's Houthi rebels have attacked cargo ships in the Red and Arabian seas in recent weeks, with U.S. intelligence also identifying Iran as the culprit. In light of the current report from the Nuclear Energy Agency, Washington is panicking again. Iran's “nuclear expansion” is worrisome, the National Security Council wrote, as the regime's minions continue their “dangerous and destabilizing activities” in the region.
Iran wants nothing to do with it. The head of Iran's nuclear program, Mohammad Eslami, said news of uranium enrichment was a “media frenzy”. The allegations are politically motivated and a conspiracy by the US and Israel to divert attention from the Gaza war as a whole. As always, Tehran says: the nuclear program serves only civilian purposes. (double)