IAEA chief raises alarm over Iran’s 60% uranium enrichment level

NEW DELHI: The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Mariano Grossi, expressed concerns on Monday about Iran’s nuclear activities, describing them as eyebrow-raising. In an interview with German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), Grossi highlighted that Iran could potentially produce a nuclear bomb within weeks due to its current levels of uranium enrichment.
The IAEA’s December report indicated that Iran had escalated its uranium enrichment to 60 percent, which is close to the weapons-grade threshold of 90 percent. This development has heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, especially after Iran’s response to an alleged Israeli strike in Syria by attacking Israel with drones and missiles on April 13, although these were largely thwarted, a Newsweek report said.
Grossi emphasized the lack of access and visibility for the IAEA as problematic, saying, “I have been telling my Iranian counterparts time and again…this [nuclear] activity raises eyebrows and compounded with the fact that we are not getting the necessary degree of access and visibility that I believe should be necessary.”
Despite Iran’s assertions that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, Grossi had previously mentioned in January 2023 that Tehran possessed sufficient enriched uranium to build “several” nuclear weapons. This situation has caused great concern within the Biden administration, with a Department of State spokesperson stating that Iran’s nuclear escalation is particularly troubling given the region’s ongoing instability and the activities of Iran-backed groups.

Moreover, Grossi revealed findings of traces of enriched uranium in locations not designated as nuclear sites, indicating possible undisclosed nuclear activities. He plans to visit Tehran soon to engage in further dialogue and address these critical issues with Iranian authorities.
(With inputs from agencies)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *