Iran amassed enough material for ‘several nuclear weapons,’ says IAEA chief

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Abu Dhabi
CNN

Diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from restarting nuclear weapons should be resumed, said the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi, who warned that Tehran has amassed enough material for “several nuclear weapons.”

Speaking ahead of a planned visit to Tehran, Grossi told a European Parliament subcommittee in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran has not yet built a nuclear weapon and that the West should make efforts to stop it. on from doing that.

Uranium enriched to more than 90% can be weaponized. Iran has 70 kilograms (154 pounds) of uranium enriched to 60% purity and 1,000 kilograms to 20% purity, according to Grossi.

The reactor building at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in August 2010.

The head of the IAEA is heading to Tehran in February for “much-needed political dialogue” despite the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear deal signed by Iran in 2015, being ” in bad shape,” he said.

Grossi described the JCPOA as an “empty shell,” saying that diplomatic activity related to the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal is close to non-existent.

“No one has been declared dead, but no obligation is being followed, and … all the boundaries that were in the JCPOA have been violated several times,” Grossi said.

Iran's nuclear chief, Mohammad Eslami, in September 2022.

Last year, the IAEA asked Iran to explain why traces of uranium were found in three areas that were not supposed to be dedicated to nuclear activity. Iran retaliated by removing 27 of the IAEA’s cameras.

On Tuesday, Grossi said the move left his agency “blindsided” on several fronts, including the current amount of material, equipment and centrifuges.

Grossi’s planned visit was confirmed by Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran’s atomic agency, who said Tehran was expecting a visit from the head of the IAEA, Fars news agency reported on Wednesday.

The decline in efforts to revive the deal has come at a time of increased tension between the US and Iran.

The European Union has set up indirect talks between Washington and Tehran aimed at relaunching the nuclear deal, but talks stalled after the Iranian government demanded further commitments.

The talks were then halted by nationwide protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Jina Amini, 22, in September.

“The JCPOA has not been on the agenda for months,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday.

The Biden administration also imposed sanctions on Tehran following the government’s crackdown on protesters, which has included the execution of those accused of involvement.

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