A new US intelligence report has reaffirmed that Iran is not trying to build nuclear weapons despite constant claims made by Israel and Western media outlets to the contrary.
“Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities that would be necessary to produce a testable nuclear device,” an unclassified summary of a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The report noted that Iran has taken steps to increase uranium enrichment, which it called “research and development activities that would bring it closer to producing the fissile material needed for completing a nuclear device following a decision to do so.”
Iran has been enriching some uranium at 60%, a step it took in 2021 in response to an Israeli attack on its Natanz Nuclear Facility. But 90% enrichment is needed for weapons-grade, and there’s no sign Tehran is looking to bring enrichment to that level.
The DNI report said Iran was enriching uranium beyond the limits imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. But those limits are irrelevant since the US withdrew from the agreement in 2018 by reimposing sanctions, making Tehran no longer bound by the deal, which restricted uranium enrichment at 3.67%.
Last year, the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review also concluded that Iran was not developing nuclear weapons. “Iran does not today possess a nuclear weapon and we currently believe it is not pursuing one,” the NPR read.
Israel has been threatening to attack Iran over its nuclear program, but recently the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toned downed its rhetoric on the issue amid reports that the US and Iran have held indirect negotiations.
Tzachi Hanegbi, Netanyahu’s national security adviser, said on June 30 that Israel wasn’t getting any “closer” to bombing Iran because “the Iranians have stopped, for a while now, they are not enriching uranium to the level that in our view is the red line.”