Even as a new agreement on Iran’s nuclear capabilities stutters and falters, the country’s nuclear activities have increased at a rate that is alarming analysts in Washington.
Experts believe that the Islamic Republic’s advancement in nuclear capabilities has surged in the past several years, so much so that the country is able to produce enough nuclear material for six bombs in merely six weeks.
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The International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA) made the fateful decision in 2015 to overlook Iran’s nuclear weapons efforts that went against what was previously agreed upon.
That has changed, and the IAEA now demands any new deal must allow full international access to facilities where nuclear work was previously carried out. Iran, however, refuses to reveal the extent of its violations of the 2015 agreement.
Its reasoning is that it will hamper the new negotiations that are ongoing.
Former IAEA Deputy Secretary-General Ollie Heinonen reports that Iran, even under the old deal, developed nuclear centrifuges that are much more efficient than they previously had access to.
With these, he declared, nuclear material sufficient for six bombs may now be developed within six weeks by the Islamic Republic. And this advancement came under the auspices of the 2015 deal that the U.S. backed away from in 2018.
Iranian leaders say they are ready to revive the previous deal and are attempting to put pressure on the U.S. to get onboard. President Ebrahim Raisi, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, said he is uncertain that the U.S. side is as eager to sign back on for the accord as his nation is.
Raisi, referring to the Trump administration’s 2018 decision to pull out of the one-sided agreement, accused the U.S. of “trampling” on what had been previously been negotiated.
Iran has long claimed that whatever nuclear work is being done is for the development of nuclear energy, but most international observers disagree. The country sees itself as a counterbalance to American strength in the area, and nuclear weapons are key to performing that role.