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Iran has amassed enough material for ‘multiple nuclear weapons’, IAEA chief says


Abu Dhabi

Diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon should resume, said International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi, who warned Tehran had amassed enough material for ‘several nuclear weapons’ .

Speaking ahead of a planned visit to Tehran, Grossi told a European Parliament subcommittee in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran had not yet built a nuclear weapon and that the West should redouble its efforts to build it. prevent you from doing so.

Uranium enriched to more than 90% can be transformed into a weapon. Iran has 70 kilograms (154 pounds) of enriched uranium at 60% purity and 1,000 kilograms at 20% purity, according to Grossi.

The IAEA chief will travel to Tehran in February for a “much-needed political dialogue” despite the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear deal signed with Iran in 2015, being “in very bad shape”, did he declare.

Grossi described the JCPOA as “an empty shell,” saying diplomatic activity related to reviving the 2015 nuclear deal is virtually non-existent.

“Nobody pronounced him dead, but no obligation is being pursued, and … every limit that existed in the JCPOA has been repeatedly violated,” Grossi said.

Iranian nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami pictured in September 2022.

Last year, the IAEA asked Iran to explain why traces of uranium had been detected in three areas that were not supposed to be dedicated to nuclear activity. Iran retaliated by removing 27 of the IAEA’s cameras.

On Tuesday, Grossi said the move left his agency “blind” to several aspects, including the amount of material, equipment and centrifuges currently in existence.

Grossi’s planned visit was confirmed by Mohammad Eslami, the head of Iran’s atomic agency, who said Tehran was expecting a visit from the IAEA chief, Fars news agency reported on Wednesday.

The decline in attempts to revive the deal came at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran.

The European Union mediated indirect talks between Washington and Tehran aimed at reviving the nuclear deal, but talks stalled after the Iranian government demanded new guarantees.

The talks were then disrupted by nationwide protests in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini in September.

“The JCPOA has been off the agenda for months,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday.

The Biden administration also introduced sanctions against Tehran following a government crackdown on protesters, which included the execution of those accused of involvement.

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