The nightmarish scenario of an Iranian nuclear bomb is again on the horizon as a brutal Islamic theocracy works on advanced uranium centrifuges at a new underground site, Israel warns.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Iran’s efforts to clean up uranium at sites near the Natanz nuclear power plant had exceeded UN figures from a March report.
“Iran is working to complete the production and installation of 1,000 additional advanced IR6 centrifuges at its nuclear facilities, including new facilities under construction at underground sites adjacent to Natanz,” Ganz said in a speech at Reichman University nearby. from Tel Aviv.
“Iran continues to accumulate irreversible knowledge and experience in the design, research, production and operation of advanced centrifuges.
“There are only a few weeks left to get the fissile material needed for the first bomb.”
Centrifuges are used to purify uranium for civilian projects or, at higher levels, to make fuel for a nuclear bomb.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz warns that Iran is building new underground uranium treatment plants in advanced centrifuges
Centrifuge machines at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant. In a March report, the IAEA said Iran had installed or planned to install a total of three IR6 cascades, numbering about 660 vehicles, at new underground sites near Natanza.
Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a March report that Iran has installed or plans to install a total of three IR6 cascades, numbering about 660 vehicles, but Israel says it is 1,000 machines.
In the photo: President of Iran, President Ebrahim Raisi. According to Israel, Iran is working to clean up uranium at new sites that could allow it to build a nuclear bomb in a matter of weeks
In this satellite photo from Planet Labs Inc. shows Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
Iran’s progress in this area is being closely monitored by world powers, which are trying to resume a nuclear deal with Tehran, which denies any military plans.
A March 3 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran had installed or planned to install a total of three IR6 stages, numbering about 660 machines.
IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said last month that Iran had set up a new underground workshop in Natanza to make centrifuge parts, a clear precaution against attacks.
In his remarks, Ganz hinted at Israel’s long-standing threat to take military action if it believes diplomacy is at a standstill to deny its sworn enemy the means to build nuclear weapons.
“The price for resolving the Iranian challenge at the global or regional level is higher than it was a year ago and lower than it will be in a year,” Ganz said.
Grossi (on screen) speaks online during a hearing of the European Parliament’s subcommittee on security and defense in Brussels. Last month, he said Iran had set up a new Natanz underground workshop to make centrifuge parts, a clear precaution against attacks
Pictured: General view of the Amir Kabir Dam (Karaj Dam) in the Karaj River on Chalus Road, Alborz Province, in northern Iran, where the Iranian centrifuge plant is located
“The cost of such a future war, which we hope will not happen, can be prevented or reduced” through tougher negotiations between world powers, he added.
According to Iran, Israel has twice attacked an Iranian centrifuge in Karaj, as well as the Natanz nuclear power plant.
“Unfortunately, due to the terrorist operation against Karaj, we were forced to tighten security measures, in which we moved an important part of the cars, and the rest were transferred to Natanz and Isfahan,” said Behruz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the nuclear plant. Iran’s energy sector. organizations.
Isfahan is home to another Iranian nuclear facility.
Meanwhile, talks between Iran and the EU stalled after it failed to clarify the availability of nuclear materials at undeclared facilities in Iran.
Last week, Grossi said he was “very concerned” about Iran’s lack of cooperation as the EU seeks to unblock talks to resume the 2015 nuclear deal.
Negotiations between the world powers and Iran have been suspended since mid-March, when negotiators seek to return to a landmark treaty that curtailed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions.
What is the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015?
In early May 2018, then-President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement to impose significant restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions.
The agreement was signed during the administration of former President Barack Obama in 2015 between Iran and P5 + 1, which includes China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The original goal was to expand Iran’s nuclear program to such an extent that if Tehran decided to develop nuclear weapons, it would take at least a year to develop them, which would give world powers time to respond.
At the time, U.S. intelligence officials estimated that without the agreement, Iran could produce enough nuclear material for armaments in a matter of months.
After President Joe Biden entered the Oval Office, Washington and Tehran both said they would return to the original agreement, but they disagreed with the steps to reach it.
Under its terms, Iran has agreed to dismantle much of its nuclear program and open its facilities to broader international inspections in exchange for lifting U.S. and other countries ’sanctions worth billions for Iran’s economy.
Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA’s nuclear-related provisions is being monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an agency that recently said the country was not transparent about the availability of nuclear materials at undeclared facilities in Iran.
By October 2023, the UN was to lift missile restrictions under the original agreement, while the EU was to lift all other nuclear sanctions and the U.S. was to lift most of the sanctions.
But in retaliation for U.S. departure and for deadly attacks on prominent Iranians in 2020, including by the United States, Iran has resumed part of its nuclear activities.
As of May 2022, it is less and less likely that the deal can be completed on schedule.