International atomic inspectors last week discovered that Iran has accumulated uranium enriched to levels just shy of what is needed for a nuclear weapon, according to a new report.
Unnamed senior diplomats told Bloomberg that Iran has accumulated uranium enriched to 84% purity and a concentration to 6% below what’s needed for a weapon, marking the highest levels found by inspectors in Iran to date.
Iran had previously told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that its centrifuges were configured to enrich uranium to a 60% level of purity.
It remains unclear whether the material was intentionally produced or it was an unintentional accumulation within the centrifuges used to separate the isotopes.
Per the IAEA, levels at only 60% are indistinguishable from that needed for a nuclear weapon and that most nuclear reactors use material enriched to 5% purity.
“Enrichment of uranium to 84% purity – be it intentional or by accident – should simply not be happening,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) Senior Fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“There is only one way to deal with this. [President Joe] Biden must work with the E3 to snapback sanctions and collapse the architecture surrounding the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)],” Taleblu said. “This should be a wake-up call to the international community. Iranian nuclear escalation can and does happen absent Western pressure. Indeed, Iran has been in the driver’s seat of the nuclear crisis the entire time Biden has been in office.”
Sunday’s report comes as the Iranian regime has faced criticism for its brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters and its military support for Russia in its war against Ukraine.
Former President Donald Trump withdrew U.S. support from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions in 2018, calling the agreement “defective at its core.”
Under the 2015 nuclear deal struck by the United States under the Obama administration, world powers and Iran, sanctions against Tehran were lifted in exchange for Iran’s cooperation in restricting its nuclear program. Tehran expanded its nuclear program after the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal.