Jerusalem24 – The International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran began work to produce fuel from metallic uranium for the Tehran Research Reactor, and that uranium metal could be used in building the core of a nuclear weapon, in the latest violation by Iran of the nuclear agreement in 2015 with the six major powers.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Tehran had begun work on an assembly line to manufacture a key material for nuclear warheads.
The newspaper said that it had seen a confidential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency saying that Iran had informed the organization that it would install equipment for producing uranium metal at a site in Isfahan during the next four to five months.
According to the newspaper, this development brings Iran closer to crossing the line between nuclear operations of potential civilian use, such as the enrichment of nuclear fuel for power generation reactors, and nuclear weapons activities.
The agency reported that Iran informed it in January of 2019 that it intended to produce more advanced fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor.
But after the agency exerted repeated pressure on Tehran, the latter drew up a plan in mid-December, saying it would “manufacture uranium metal to produce advanced fuel for the Tehran reactor.”
Last Tuesday, the European Union indicated that Iran should abandon the decision to enrich uranium to higher levels of purity, and give international diplomacy an opportunity to save the nuclear agreement signed in 2015.
Moreover, last week, Iran began implementing its plans to enrich uranium with a purity of 20 percent at the underground Fordro nuclear facility, a level it had reached before the agreement was concluded with world powers to contain its nuclear ambitions.
Specifically, the agreement imposes a 15-year ban on Iran’s production or possession of metallic uranium, the sensitive material that could be used in making a nuclear bomb.