Iran’s nuclear stockpiles enough for producing more than one nuclear weapon

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Iran has enough nuclear materials to manufacture more than one nuclear warhead after extra enrichment, the foreign ministries of the United Kingdom, France and Germany (E3) said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

“We are deeply concerned that, for more than two years, Iran has continued its systematic nuclear escalation, thereby permanently and irreversibly upgrading its nuclear capabilities and exposing the international community to significant risk,” the document reads. “Iran has no plausible civilian justification for both 20% and 60% enrichment and the production of High Enriched Uranium (HEU) is unprecedented for a State without a weapons programme. As a result of its alarming pace of production, Iran’s total stockpile today contains enough fissile material that if enriched further could be used to produce more than one nuclear weapon and accumulation of uranium enriched at 20 and 60% is further reducing the time Iran would take to break out towards a first nuclear weapon.”

The E3 nations expressed concern over “the recent installation of modular infrastructure of advanced centrifuges.” Such a step will make it possible for Iran to “change the operating configuration of such cascades more easily and to enrich to higher levels,” the statement says. “Iran has also developed essential knowledge critical to the production of a nuclear weapon, in particular in the field of uranium metal.”

According to the statement, Iran’s “nuclear programme is now in a significantly more advanced state.”

“Iran’s continued escalations are irreversibly reducing the counter-proliferation value of the JCPoA,” the E3 nations stressed.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Russia, the United Kingdom, China, the United States and France) and Germany in 2015. Under the deal, Iran undertook to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange of abandonment of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

The future of the deal was called in question after the United States’ unilateral pullout in May 2018 and Washington’s unilateral oil export sanctions against Teheran. Iran argued that all other participants, Europeans in the first place, were ignoring some of their own obligations in the economic sphere, thus making the deal in its current shape senseless. This said, it began to gradually scale down its commitments under the deal.

Meanwhile, US’ incumbent President Joe Biden has repeatedly signaled his readiness to return the US to the deal.

The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has had six offline meetings in Vienna since April to find ways to restore the nuclear deal in its original form. The sides discuss prospects for the United States’ possible return to the deal, steps needed to ensure full compliance with the deal’s terms by Iran, and issues of lifting the anti-Iranian sanctions. The next round of talks is scheduled for November 29.

Source » tass

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