On Friday, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) released figures on the Islamic Republic’s levels of stockpiled enriched uranium ahead of the resumption of negotiations to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvan said Iran’s stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium has reached 210 kilograms, and the stockpile of 60 percent enriched uranium has reached 25 kilograms.
Tehran started enriching uranium at these levels in response to Israeli covert attacks inside Iran. After Israel assassinated Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020, Iran’s parliament passed a law requiring 20 percent enrichment. In April, Iran began enriching some uranium at 60 percent after Israel attacked the Natanz nuclear facility.
The US and Israel like to point to these enrichment levels as evidence that Iran is racing to develop a bomb, but 60 percent is still well below the 90 percent needed for weapons-grade uranium. It’s also clear now that Iran will use the stockpiles as leverage for the JCPOA negotiations that are resuming on November 29th.
If the US returns to the JCPOA by lifting sanctions, the agreement would restrict Iran’s uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent. Iran would also only be able to stockpile low enriched uranium up to 300 kilograms.
If Israel really cared about restricting Iran’s nuclear program, it would favor a revival of the JCPOA. But instead, Israel has done everything it can to sabotage the restoration of the deal.