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The Islamic Republic of Iran is reportedly continuing to escalate its enrichment of uranium by preparing to use advanced centrifuges at its underground Fordow nuclear facility as U.N. experts warn that Iran now has enough of the material to build a nuclear weapon.
The development, which was contained in a United Nations nuclear watchdog report that was obtained by Reuters, comes after the overwhelming majority of nations on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors condemned Iran for failing to explain why uranium traces were found at sites Iran did not disclose.
“IAEA inspectors verified on Saturday that Iran was ready to feed uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas, the material centrifuges enrich, into the second of two cascades, or clusters, of IR-6 centrifuges installed at Fordow, a site dug into mountain,” Reuters reported. “Iran informed the IAEA on Monday that passivation of the cascade, a process that precedes enrichment and also involves feeding UF6 into the machines, had begun on Sunday.”
The advanced centrifuge machines have the ability to change the level of purity at which they enrich uranium, thus enabling the Iran to quickly ramp up production of the purity of uranium needed to produce nuclear weapons.
“At a different site, Iran is already enriching to up to 60%, close to the roughly 90% of weapons-grade and far above the 2015 deal’s cap of 3.67%,” the report added. “In response to the Board of Governors’ resolution, Iran has ordered the removal of IAEA cameras installed under the 2015 deal and pressed ahead with the installation of IR-6 centrifuges at an underground plant at Natanz where the deal lets it enrich but only with far less efficient IR-1 machines.”
The IAEA said in a report late last month that was viewed by several publications that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium had reached a high enough level that they could now produce a nuclear weapon which comes as Democrat President Joe Biden has failed to get Iran back into a nuclear agreement. Multiple negotiators with the Biden administration have quit because they said that Biden was being far too weak in dealing with Iran in nuclear negotiations.
“The IAEA reported that Iran’s stockpile of 60% highly enriched uranium had reached 43.3 kilograms, equivalent to 95.5 pounds,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “A person close to the IAEA said Iran’s stockpile of 60% is now above the so-called significant quantity that defines how much nuclear material could be needed for a nuclear weapon.”
Experts say Iran can quickly convert the 60% enriched uranium into the 90% enriched uranium that is needed to build a nuclear weapon.