Iran Reportedly Within Weeks of Weapons-Grade Uranium

iran nuclear israel
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani arrives for a meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, in Vienna, Monday. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner)

Iran now stands poised to enrich uranium to weapons-grade 90 percent purity, Israeli intelligence officers have informed Washington, according to Walla news, citing two U.S. sources on Monday night.

Tehran could attain the weapons-grade level within weeks, and Israeli analysts claim it could make such a decision soon in order to influence the Vienna talks with world powers that renewed today, the report said.

Iran is currently enriching uranium to 60% purity, which already exceeds the cap set in the 2015 nuclear deal. Enrichment to 90% would be an unmistakable move toward a weapon, as there is no civilian use for uranium of that purity.

The intelligence Israeli officials shared with their American counterparts was also said to indicate that the Islamic Republic might intensify its attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle East via proxies in various countries.

In a separate report on Monday, Channel 13 said that Israeli officials have warned the U.S. that it must begin concentrating military forces in the Middle East if the nuclear talks with Tehran fail.

Officials were quoted as saying they expected the Biden administration to begin assembling an allied military coalition to counter Iran in the region, much as President George H.W. Bush and his son George W. did ahead of confrontations with Sadaam Hussein’s Iraq.

In Israel, it is estimated that absent a credible military option, the talks will fail.

Earlier, a representative of the Iranian delegation to Vienna spoke about the first day of talks with the West. “All parties have agreed to focus the talks on the lifting of sanctions and that the expectation in Iran is a promise that no sanctions will be added and even to remove them all.”

He said, “The United States’ return to the agreement will be meaningless without a promise to prevent a repeat of past events.”

He also said that “the window of opportunity will not remain open forever.”

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