Iranian Nuclear Chief Ali Akbar Salehi on Wednesday said the country’s uranium stockpile has reached 950 tons. That’s enough to run 190,000 centrifuge machines for enriching uranium.
Speaking on state TV, Salehi said the country had imported about 400 tons of uranium since it signed the JCPOA in 2015.
The JCPOA, which Obama helped negotiate with other world power, restricts Iran’s uranium enrichment to 3.67%. This is enough for use in a nuclear power plant, but far lower than the 90% needed to create a bomb. The deal does not block Iran from importing uranium.
When President Trump pulled the United States out of the JCPOA in May, Iran vowed to increase enrichment capacity to pressure the remaining signatories to hold up their end of the deal.
According to Salehi, Iran has already constructed a new factory that will produce rotor blades for centrifuges. “Instead of building this factory in the next seven or eight years, we built it during the negotiations but did not start it…Of course, the [Supreme Leader] was completely informed and we gave him the necessary information at the time. And now that he has given the order this factory has started all of its work.”
Salehi’s claims about uranium come days after the Israeli government released more details about its January heist of weapons-making information from Tehran.
The new details suggest that Iran’s weapons development program was far more advanced than we thought and that Iranian scientists continued nuclear research in secret after the country claimed to have shut down all nuclear operations in 2003. The stolen documents also suggest that Iran obtained key bomb-making information from a foreign source.
Israel worries that when the JCPOA’s restrictions expire, Iran will have exactly what it needs to create a weapon that could threaten its existence.
Editor’s note: This was one of Obama’s worst moves, the JCPOA did nothing but help Iran with it nuclear weapon ambitions.