Iran's 60% enrichment of uranium poses global nuclear threatIran's 60% enrichment of uranium poses global nuclear threat

Tehran moves ever closer to the degree of purity needed to create a nuclear bomb and fails to cooperate with the UN

Iran announced on Tuesday (22) that it has begun the process of enriching uranium to 60% purity at its underground nuclear plant in Fordo, located 180 kilometers south of the capital Tehran.

The country, which is going through a wave of anti-government protests against oppression of women and in defense of human rights, said the move was a response to a resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a UN body that last week criticized the country’s lack of cooperation.

Under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iran would have had to limit uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent purity. That deal provided for relief from international sanctions imposed on Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program, aimed at preventing the production of a nuclear weapon.

In addition, the deal also required Fordo to become a research and development facility and restricted the centrifuges there to non-nuclear uses. However, the agreement had its progress halted after the United States unilaterally pulled out in 2018 under Donald Trump.

Tensions with the UN have recently intensified over Iran’s lack of technically credible responses about evidence of enriched uranium found at three undeclared plants by the government. Since 2019 the country has progressively ceased to comply with the international agreement with the major powers and negotiations on resuming the deal are stalled.

The concern with the announcement of Iran’s advances in uranium enrichment is due to the fact that the percentage of purity required of the element to make a nuclear bomb is 90%, and Iran is getting closer and closer to achieving it, despite international objections.

For André Lajst, a political scientist specialized in the Middle East and executive president of StandWithUs Brasil, “this only proves once again that Iran is not seeking to enrich uranium for scientific reasons, but for military reasons, since Tehran has been getting closer and closer to the purity required to manufacture a nuclear bomb.

This is a process that Iran has pursued for decades, and all countries involved in investigations show that Iran’s nuclear program has military objectives, despite the Islamic Republic saying otherwise. With this, Iran poses an external threat not only to its neighboring states, but to the entire world.”
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