• The fragmentary destruction of the Natanz nuclear site pushed back progress at the site by more than a year.
• The new hall is expected to speed up the development of uranium centrifuges.
• Pompeo: “Iran’s uranium stockpile is reportedly more than 10 times the limit set by the JCPOA.”
Iran has announced that it is building a new facility in the mountains located close to the Natanz nuclear site. According to the government statement, it will be a much bigger complex than Natanz and will be used in the production of nuclear centrifuges. A segment of the Natanz facility was destroyed in July following a suspected sabotage attempt.
The new hall is expected to speed up the development of uranium centrifuges.
An explosion that was triggered by a cyber-attack shattered key sections of the Natanz site. Israeli operatives are believed to have been behind the incident.
In the aftermath of the blast, Iran accused both the US and Israel of involvement. Just weeks before this, the two countries had accused Tehran of running a secret nuclear project, claims that Iran vehemently denied.
The fragmentary destruction of the Natanz nuclear site pushed back progress at the site by more than a year.
The new hall is expected to speed up the development of uranium centrifuges. The following is part of the statement issued by Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, in regard to this.
“Due to the sabotage, it was decided to build a more modern, larger and more comprehensive hall in all dimensions in the heart of the mountain near Natanz. Of course, the work has begun.”
The latest development has got the US and Israel concerned.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned about Iran’s burgeoning uranium stockpile had exceeded the maximum amount allowed under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) treaty by more than ten times.
The announcement was made following an IAEA inspection report that was released last Friday. Iran was found to have processed over 2,000 kilograms of low-concentration enriched uranium.
Pompeo has asked EU nations to join America in imposing sanctions on Iran, stating, “Iran’s uranium stockpile is reportedly more than 10 times the limit set by the JCPOA.
Behrouz Kamalvandi has stressed that the current uranium levels are similar to those reached prior to the JCPOA agreement.
The E3 and other nations must wake up to the reality that the nuclear deal is history and should join us in imposing strong sanctions. Pressure and comprehensive talks are the only path forward.”
Why Iran is Reluctant to Cede its Nuclear Program
Iran has stubbornly continued to develop its nuclear program both covertly and overtly. This is despite crippling sanctions imposed on it by the US administration.
While it claims that its project is for peaceful purposes, conflict analysts contend that the nation’s primary objective is to build a nuclear bomb. Of course, intending to make a nuclear bomb and actually reaching bomb-making capacity are two different things.
Even with the ramped-up uranium volumes, Iran has nowhere near the amount needed to make an atomic bomb.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the nation’s Atomic Energy Organization, has stressed that the current uranium levels are similar to those reached prior to the JCPOA agreement.