update deskMiddle East

IAEA: Iran ‘not entirely transparent’ on its nuclear program

Citing "loose talk" about Iran possessing the components necessary for a nuclear weapon, the IAEA's director-general called on Tehran to "please let me know what you have."

IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi at an IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, Sept. 14, 2020. Photo by Dean Calma/IAEA via Wikimedia Commons.
IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi at an IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, Sept. 14, 2020. Photo by Dean Calma/IAEA via Wikimedia Commons.

Tehran is being less than forthright with the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding its nuclear program, said IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi on Tuesday.

The head of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog group made his remarks in light of comments this weekend by Ali Akbar Salehi, former head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, to the effect that the Islamic Republic has all the pieces for a nuclear weapon “in our hands.”

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Grossi said the Islamic Republic is “presenting a face which is not entirely transparent when it comes to its nuclear activities. Of course this increases dangers.”

“There’s loose talk about nuclear weapons more and more, including in Iran recently. A very high official said, in fact, ‘we have everything, it’s disassembled.’ Well, please let me know what you have,” Grossi added.

In late December, the IAEA said Iran had tripled its enrichment of uranium to 60%, reversing a slowdown earlier that year.

Since mid-June, Iran had been enriching uranium up to 60% at a rate of about 3 kilograms a month at its Natanz facility and at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP), located deep in a mountain, according to the report.

Iran began openly pursuing nuclear enrichment after then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal in 2018, describing it as “defective at its core.”

Countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia, which saw the deal as all but guaranteeing a nuclear Iran, applauded the move.

Just before Trump’s announcement, Israel revealed half a ton of secret Iranian documents spirited out of Iran by the Mossad proving that its leaders had lied when they said Iran had never sought nuclear weapons.

The Biden administration has subsequently attempted to relaunch a “longer and stronger” nuclear deal with Iran, but its efforts thus far have been unsuccessful.

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