News of out Iran is not promising. 100 Iranian legislators presented a draft that called for the state to enrich its uranium to 60%. This would cause activity to resume at the Arak heavy water reactor and would be in direct violation of the recent interim agreements between Iran and the P5+1. The agreement hopes to halt Iran’s enrichment program at Arak, limit uranium enrichment to five percent, and reduce Iran’s already existing uranium stockpile to 20% enriched uranium.
Iranian lawmaker Seyyed Mehdi Mousavinejad stated “If the bill is approved, the government will be obliged to complete nuclear infrastructure at Fordo and Natanz facilities. If sanctions against Iran are ratcheted up, new sanctions are imposed, the country’s nuclear rights are violated and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s peaceful nuclear rights are ignored by members of 5+1group.”
The claimed purpose of enriching uranium up to levels of 60% is to help fuel submarine engines should talks fail and more sanctions are imposed on Iran. The recent draft by the Iranian Parliament comes as a reaction to a US Congressional bill proposed by lawmakers to strengthen sanctions against Iran, including boycotting Iranian oil exports, engineering, construction, and mining industries.
Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz has confirmed that had the heavy sanctions against Iran continued, “it would have brought about the collapse of the Iranian economy.” He further emphasized the strategic role Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has played in gaining support from the international community to levy sanctions against Iran. According to Steinitz, sanctions have cost Iran about $100 billion, which is significant seeing as to how their GDP is $450 billion.
Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism. The Islamic Republic of Iran makes no efforts to hide their support of such terrorist organizations as Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, as well as being a huge supporter of Bashar al-Assad. The United States, Israel, and other western powers believe that the main purpose of Iran’s enrichment uranium program is to attain a nuclear bomb. Iranian officials have vehemently denied these allegations, saying their nuclear program is to be used for peaceful purposes. Should Iran attain the enrichment levels needed to build a bomb, the balance of power in the Middle East would change dramatically.