The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that the Iranian government has doubled its production of metallic uranium, according to the latest data from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Iran doubled its production of metallic uranium
The IAEA said on Monday that the Iranian government utilized 257 grams of 20% enriched uranium in the form of uranium tetrafluoride to make 200 grams of metallic uranium, according to Reuters
The Iranian government, however, has forbidden the creation of metal uranium, which may be used to make nukes, as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and global powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.
The production of metallic uranium
The production of metallic uranium, and now uranium tetrafluoride, comes after the Iranian parliament passed a resolution requiring Hassan Rouhani’s government to suspend the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol unless sanctions are lifted by March 24, 2021.
The Iranian government can keep 120 kg of 20% enriched uranium per year, according to the directive.
Creation of nuclear weapons
According to Reuters, member states of the IAEA Board, including the United States, have expressed worry over the production of metallic uranium and deem it a prerequisite for the creation of nuclear weapons, citing the UN nuclear agency.
This concern was heightened when the Iranian government refused to prolong inspectors’ access to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after two rounds of three- and one-month agreements with the IAEA and limited some inspections.
The US has stated that it will not lift any sanctions
Some analysts believe the Iranian government’s move, is a move to increase pressure on the US to lift all sanctions against it during the JCPOA talks, which took place from April 2021 to June 20, but the US has stated that it will not lift any sanctions until the Iranian government complies with all of the JCPOA’s provisions.
On August 9, a spokesperson for the Iranian government’s foreign ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, stated that the government will not be happy with anything less than a return to the 2015 JCPOA.
Lack of progress in the talks to resurrect the JCPOA
Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reported on August 9 that, due to a lack of progress in the talks to resurrect the JCPOA, Biden’s administration is considering options, including a limited removal of sanctions in exchange for the Iranian government stopping many sensitive activities.
The US Treasury Department sanctioned several persons and firms on August 13 as a network that was transporting and smuggling Iranian oil under the aegis of the Revolutionary Guards and adding it to its blacklist, less than four days after Bloomberg’s report.
Iran has no credible need to produce uranium metal
Despite the sanctions, Ismail Kowsari, a prominent commander in the Revolutionary Guards and a member of Iran’s parliament, declared on August 15 that nuclear discussions will resume in Raisi’s cabinet and that there was no doubt that they would.
Despite all of these activities and replies between the two countries, as well as the Iranian government’s actions, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, in response to the IAEA report on increased metal uranium production, described the regime’s move as, “unconstructive and inconsistent with a return to mutual compliance,” and added: “Iran has no credible need to produce uranium metal, which has direct relevance to nuclear weapons development.”