IAEA: Iran’s Highly Enriched Uranium Stockpile Doubled Since November

Stockpile sits at 33 kg

A new IAEA report on Iran’s uranium stockpile means a new round of misleading predictions of proliferation risk. The big figure showed that since November, Iran has doubled its stockpile of its mostly highly enriched uranium.

The stockpile at 60%, still well below the 90% of weapons-grade, now sits at 33 kg. That’s up from 15.5 kg in November. This lead to claims they are closer to having enough uranium to produce a nuclear weapon.

The fact however is that 60% uranium could not be used in a weapon itself, and while further enrichment could turn it into weapons-grade levels, that’s true of any uranium, and Iran has never attempted to produce uranium at that level.

Trying to make the stockpile sound scarier than it is means trivializing the enrichment process, and glossing over the rest of the process. Even assuming enough weapons-grade uranium, the process of weaponization and miniaturization to produce something deliverable can take a lot of effort.

Moreover, even producing a single weapon is not a viable goal, as testing to prove they have a functional process means destroying the only weapon they have, and subsequently starting back over from square one.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.