Briefly: The International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) has raised the alarm after it found traces of 84% enriched uranium in Iran. This is the highest level of enrichment ever found by the nuclear watchdog in Iran, and is only 6% below what’s needed to produce nuclear weapons.
Iranian authorities have denied the accusations and insist their centrifuges aren’t programmed to enrich uranium beyond 60%. The IAEA is now investigating whether this 84% enriched material was intentional, or an inadvertent accumulation in the centrifuge network.
Intrigue’s take: The US Special Representative for Iran stated recently that there’s no evidence Iran is actively building nuclear weapons. But we’re weeks away from Tehran having enough material to do so (if we’re not there already).
And the thing about capability and intent is that once you can do something… there’s a greater chance you will. Like that friend with a mic who just couldn’t help themselves and launched a podcast.
Either way, as Iran’s uranium stash grows, so does the risk of something going very wrong.
Also worth noting:
- Robert Malley, the US Special Representative to Iran, has stated that the military option is on the table to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
- Just last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to increase efforts to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.