JEDDAH: Iran has enough enriched uranium to make a bomb in three weeks and there is no guarantee that its nuclear program is peaceful, the UN atomic watchdog said on Wednesday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said its director general Rafael Grossi was “increasingly concerned that Iran has not engaged with the agency on the outstanding safeguards issues … and, therefore, that there has been no progress toward resolving them.”
The IAEA has been demanding answers from Iran on the presence of nuclear material at three undeclared sites. The issue led to a resolution criticizing Iran at the June meeting of the agency’s board of governors.
On Wednesday, Grossi urged Iran to “fulfill all its legal obligations” on outstanding questions about the three sites.
The agency said Iran’s decision in June to disconnect 27 cameras that monitor its nuclear activities had “detrimental implications for the agency’s ability to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”
The latest reports come as talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program remain stalled. The accord began unraveling when former US President Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018 and went on to reimpose crippling economic sanctions on Iran.
In return, Tehran began abandoning the deal’s limits on its nuclear program, including its enriched uranium stockpile.
The IAEA says Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has increased to about 3,940 kg, over 19 times the limit set out in the accord.
Its stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, much closer to the 90-percent threshold required for use in a weapon, is now 55.6 kg. A diplomat in Vienna said that given Iran’s advances in enrichment it would now probably need “three to four weeks to reach the significant amount” needed for a nuclear weapon.