by: Kate Norman
Monday, 8 July 2019 | As Iran strides further away from its limitations set in the 2015 nuclear deal, the world debates the seriousness of the situation. The Washington Post called Iran surpassing the 3.67% enrichment of uranium limit “a small step.” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “dangerous step.”
The prime minister compared Iran’s “small steps” in nuclear development to the Nazis in the 1930s: each step a small one so the world was lulled into complacency until those steps led down a path that held dramatic worldwide repercussions.
Last week, the Islamic regime breached its limit of 300 kilograms (660 lb) of 3.6% enriched uranium set under the nuclear deal, a move Netanyahu called a “significant step toward producing nuclear weapons.” This comes a year after the United States exited what it called the “flawed” deal and reimposed heavy sanctions on Iran, plunging it into a recession.
The Islamic Republic has vowed that it will continue to develop its nuclear program further outside the limitations of the 2015 deal unless the remaining countries can get it out of financial trouble, which they have thus far been unable to do.
After announcing last week that Iran had surpassed the 300-kg limit, the Iranian foreign minister said the next step was to increase the purity of the uranium. The current limit is set at 3.6% purity, which is intended for civilian use. Higher levels of purity can be used for military use—90% for nuclear weapons.
A government spokesman for Iran said at a news conference yesterday that the regime would surpass the 3.6% limit “within hours,” and the new percentage “will be based on our needs.”
While the 3.6% might seem a far stretch from the 90% required for nuclear weapons, a former expert from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) explained that the process of going from 3.6% to 4% means the Iranians have already done “60% of the enrichment effort required to have weapons grade material,” meaning they shaved months off the process of developing weapons.
Netanyahu called for international action against this development at the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting yesterday.
“This is a very dangerous step and I am urging my friends, the leaders of France, Britain, Germany: You signed this deal, and you said the moment this step would be taken…there would be harsh sanctions…Where are you?”
He pleaded with the European nations remaining in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to impose the sanctions they agreed to should the Islamic Republic step outside its limitations set within the agreement, which it now has—twice.
“I’m asking you—not to provoke, but out of joint knowledge of history and what happens when aggressive totalitarian regimes can cross the threshold toward things that are very dangerous to us all—take the steps that you promised. Enact the sanctions.”
Condemning the refusal to stand up to Iran’s “extortion” of the nations by levying its nuclear development against their ability to bring the US back to the table or dig the regime out of its financial pit, Netanyahu called the shrugging off on the latest development a “mistake.”
This policy toward Iran is no different than what the prime minister held years ago. Back in 2017, Netanyahu said though there are important differences between Nazi Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran, “both regimes do have two important things in common: one, a ruthless commitment to impose tyranny and terror, and second, a ruthless commitment to murder Jews.”
Posted on July 8, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 8, 2019)
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