- Iran is defying US sanctions by stockpiling uranium.
- The Trump administration walked out of the Iranian nuclear deal in 2018.
- President Hassan Rouhani says friendly nations have abandoned Iran.
Inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency have revealed that Iran has stockpiled over 10 times the maximum amount of enriched uranium allowed under the Iran nuclear deal. The latest revelation underlines the consequences of the nuclear talks’ breakdown after the Trump administration walked away from the pact in 2018.
According to the US government, the measures outlined in the agreement were not sufficient to stop Iran from proceeding with its nuclear program, which it says is for peaceful purposes. Countries such as Israel, that have repeatedly clashed with Iran, fear that the Iranian nuclear program could be used to obtain enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb.
The latest IAEA findings were released after Iran agreed to provide inspectors with unfettered access to its nuclear facilities. Prior to this, Iran was accused of harboring undeclared nuclear content.
The latest inspection, which was carried out in August, revealed that Iran had stockpiled over 4,400 pounds of low-enriched uranium. This is a significant increase from the 3,464.8 pounds reported in May.
Iran Stockpiling in Defiance of US Sanctions
The Iranian Nuclear Deal was signed in 2015, with the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and Russia as the main signatories. Widely referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it permitted Iran to continue with its nuclear program, so long as it limited its uranium stockpile to only 447 pounds.
The Persian nation, however, began reneging its commitments in 2019. It began deliberate production of uranium beyond allowed levels. The move was in defiance of the devastating US sanctions reimposed by US President Donald Trump after he walked away from the deal.
That said, Iran’s current uranium volumes are still far below those required to make an atomic weapon.
Rouhani Says Friendly Nations Not Doing Enough
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has admonished countries that were part of the Iranian Nuclear Deal for abandoning his nation in times of need. According to his latest statement on the matter, none of them tried to help during the coronavirus epidemic.
He also accused them of doing little to counter US sanctions. “Over the past months since the coronavirus arrived in our country . . . no one came to our help,” he said in a recent public broadcast.
According to the leader, “not a single friendly country told us that in this time of coronavirus and hardship and for the sake of humanity ‘we will stand up to America’ and do business with Iran.”
Israel Wants Tougher Measures Against Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked Britain and other signatories to the Iran Nuclear Deal to end their support for the pact.
During a recent meeting in Jerusalem with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi underlined that support for the treaty, especially among members of the UN Security Council, was undermining security in the region.
“The E3 must understand that genuine opposition to Iranian aggression and concern for the security of the region can not only be heard in statements but must also be seen in action.”