Iran has denied the agency access to cameras and other monitoring equipment intended to trace the progress of its nuclear program, making it very difficult to know precisely how much uranium has been enriched to high levels. “In relation to nuclear, good words are usually not enough,” Mr. Grossi said, adding that Iran must grant inspectors access “commensurate to the scale” of its uranium enrichment program if the agency is to credibly assure that it’s peaceful.
Given the regular advance in Iran’s technical knowledge and stockpile of highly enriched uranium, the country is now considered by many to be a “threshold state,” capable of constructing a bomb if it wishes, though Tehran denies any intention of ever doing so. That gives Iran with significant clout and will encourage other countries to pursue nuclear weapons, effectively shredding the 52-year-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
In July, Kamal Kharrazi, a senior adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said that the country now had the technical capability to provide an atomic bomb. His comments were repeated on Monday by Mohammad Eslami, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, in line with the semiofficial news agency Fars.
Three weeks ago, Richard Moore, the pinnacle of Britain’s foreign intelligence service, MI6, said that he doubted Iran would accept the renewal of the nuclear deal. “I’m skeptical that the supreme leader will go for the deal,” he said, referring to Ayatollah Khamenei. He added that while an agreement was on the table, and despite his belief that China and Russia wouldn’t block a deal, “I don’t think the Iranians want it.”
Still, neither Tehran nor Washington are considered more likely to declare the negotiations over, because that may present complicated decisions about what to do next, given the repeated vows by america and Israel that they may do whatever is needed to forestall Iran from making a nuclear weapon. In mid-July, President Biden and Israel’s prime minister, Yair Lapid, signed a joint declaration saying that america would use “all elements of national power” to disclaim Iran the power to arm itself with nuclear weapons.
The Biden administration has recently imposed further sanctions on Iran, targeting corporations utilized by the country’s Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Industrial Company. Iran then announced that it was activating a whole bunch of latest and advanced centrifuges that had previously been installed at an underground nuclear site in Natanz.