While Iran makes multiple strides to advance its nuclear weapons program, world leaders waffle, trying to placate the Islamist regime.
Uranium Metal: No Credible Civilian Use
The International Atomic Energy Agency, an international organization for overseeing nuclear programs, announced last Wednesday that Iran has begun work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor in contravention of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015. The deal bans Iran from producing or acquiring uranium metal until 2030 and, in return, removed economic sanctions that had been in place. Uranium metal, a material that can be used in the core of a nuclear bomb, has no civilian uses but is essential for a nuclear weapons program.
France, Britain, and Germany, who are still adhering to the terms of the JCPOA which they co-signed, joined in condemning the move:
“We strongly encourage Iran to end this activity, and return to full compliance with its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action without delay, if it is serious about preserving this agreement,” the three countries’ governments said in a joint statement.
It is expected that Iran will begin producing the uranium metal within five months.
Rising Tensions While Biden Negotiates
Earlier this month, Iran announced that it began enriching uranium above the 20% levels permitted by the JCPOA signed with President Obama in 2015. This would place their nuclear program one step away from purifying the uranium to the 90% need to produce nuclear weapons. President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018. The announcements coincide with news that the team of president-elect Joe Biden is already negotiating to re-enter the JCPOA which would allow Iran to run an unimpeded nuclear weapons program in under four years.
Iran is also aggressively pursuing a program to develop its already formidable missile arsenal which includes weapons that put Israeli and US troops in range.