Iran's Nuclear Program 'Moving Ahead Very, Very Fast,' UN Watchdog Says, Urging Transparency

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog says Iran has a 'very ambitious nuclear program that needs to be verified in the appropriate way,' a day after Tehran declares it had the technical capability to produce an atomic bomb – but no intention of doing so

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
International Atomic Energy Organization Director General Rafael Grossi and Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian shake hands in Tehran, in March.
International Atomic Energy Organization Director General Rafael Grossi and Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian shake hands in Tehran, in March.Credit: AP
Reuters
Reuters

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday "good words" from Iran are not enough to satisfy international inspectors and he hopes Tehran is ready to be transparent about its nuclear program, which was "moving ahead very, very fast."

LISTEN: Director Rama Burshtein opens up on romance and religion

Subscribe
0:00
-- : --

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi spoke when asked about the IAEA's role in monitoring any revival of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers under which it curbed its nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief.

Iran and the United States have so far failed to resurrect the deal and Grossi said Iran must grant IAEA inspectors access "commensurate to the size" of its uranium enrichment program if the agency is to credibly assure that it is peaceful.

"When it comes to nuclear, good words will not do it. What you need to do is to be transparent and compliant and work with us. We are ready and I hope they will be as well," Grossi told reporters at the United Nations.

"They have a very ambitious nuclear program that needs to be verified in the appropriate way. The program is moving ahead very, very fast and not only ahead, but sideways as well, because it's growing in ambition and in capacity."

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump reneged on the nuclear deal in 2018, restoring harsh U.S. sanctions designed to squeeze Iran's oil exports and prompting Tehran to start abandoning the agreement's nuclear limits about a year later.

On Monday, Iran's nuclear energy organization chief said it had the technical capability to produce an atomic bomb but no intention of doing so.

Iran is already enriching uranium to up to 60 percent fissile purity, far above a cap of 3.67 percent set under the now tattered 2015 deal. Uranium enriched to 90 percent is suitable for a nuclear bomb.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op