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Iran Steps up Nuclear Development Program amid ongoing Nuclear Talks

August 31, 2022
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An Iranian nuclear program exhibition (illustrative)

Wednesday, 31 August 2022 | As the United States and Iran appear to be on the verge of resurrecting the nuclear deal, the United Nations’ (UN’s) nuclear watchdog reported that Iran has stepped up its nuclear development program, according to an exclusive Reuters report.

The Islamist regime has activated a cascade of advanced IR-6 centrifuges at its underground Natanz nuclear site, according to a confidential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the UN, which Reuters saw yesterday.

The IR-6 centrifuges, a significant upgrade from the IR-1 centrifuges allowed under the 2015 nuclear agreement, enrich uranium to 60% purity—far above the 3.67% allowed under the deal and just a short technical step away from the 90% purity needed to build a nuclear bomb.

The IAEA report stated, “On 28 August 2022, the Agency verified at FEP [the underground Fuel Enrichment Plant at Natanz] that Iran was feeding UF6 [uranium hexafluoride] enriched up to 2% U-235 into the IR-6 cascade…for the production of UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235,” as quoted by Reuters.

The Natanz FEP contains two other IR-6 cascades, which are not yet up and running, the report said.

Iran is advancing its uranium enrichment program amid attempts by Tehran and Washington to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

After former US President Donald Trump exited the deal and imposed heavy sanctions against Iran, a revival of the agreement would once again see the US and other world powers lift sanctions in exchange for Iran reining in its nuclear development program.

Iran and the US have both responded to a “final” draft of an agreement presented by the European Union earlier this month. Tehran currently is studying Washington’s response before giving its answer.

Meanwhile, Israel’s leadership is campaigning against the US accepting the current draft of the agreement, condemning it as a “bad” deal that does too little too late to dampen Iran’s nuclear progress.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid told a group of foreign correspondents in Jerusalem on Sunday that Israel is not party to any potential nuclear agreement and that “it will not limit our [Israel’s] actions.”

Israel’s military and intelligence agency, the Mossad, are both prepared to “act to safeguard Israel’s security,” Lapid added, a sentiment that has been echoed recently by Israel’s defense minister, Mossad chief and other officials.

It would not be the first time Israel has acted against Iran.

Former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen announced yesterday that under his leadership, Israel carried out “countless operations” against Iranian nuclear sites.

“Without going into too many details, I can tell you the Mossad had many successes in the fight against Iran’s nuclear program,” Cohen said at an event in Basil yesterday marking the 125th anniversary of the first World Zionist Congress. “We operated around the world and on Iranian soil itself, in the very heartland of the ayatollahs,” referring to the Islamist regime’s high-ranking Shiite Muslim clerics.

Cohen mentioned the Mossad’s 2018 operation in which the intelligence agency swiped 100,000 secret files from Iran. Then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented it as evidence that the regime lied about its nuclear program being used strictly for peaceful civilian purposes and that Iran was in fact pursuing a nuclear weapon.

The former Mossad chief repeated the charge that Iran is “lying to the whole world” about the purposes of its nuclear program.

Cohen also repeated the vow that Israel will continue working to prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon.

“We can never allow a regime that calls for our destruction to get its finger on the nuclear trigger,” Cohen said.

Posted on August 31, 2022

Source: Kate Norman

Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 31, 2022)

Photo Credit: Mehr News Agency/

Photo License: Wikimedia

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