Iran weeks away from accumulating ‘significant quantity’ of enriched uranium

Iran is only a few weeks away from having a “significant quantity of enriched uranium,” the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Director General Rafael Grossi said on Monday.

“Having a significant quantity does not mean having a bomb,” Grossi told a press conference following the start of the quarterly Board of Governors meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Monday.

The warning comes as the prospects for a return to the Iranian nuclear deal continue to dim, even as the Biden administration still is hoping for an agreement to salvage the 2015 deal.

The IAEA defines “significant quantity” of enriched uranium as “the approximate amount of nuclear material for which the possibility of manufacturing a nuclear explosive device cannot be excluded.”

Iran has increased its enriched uranium stockpile and hasn’t provided answers for unexplained nuclear activities at three undeclared sites, according to two IAEA reports last month.

The Biden administration restarted talks with Iran last year to re-enter the 2015 nuclear agreement, which President Donald Trump withdrew from. Last month, US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley said the prospects of a return to the Iran nuclear deal were “tenuous at best.”

“If Iran maintains demands that go beyond the scope of the JCPOA, we will continue to reject them, and there will be no deal. It is not our preference, but we are fully prepared to live with and confront that reality if that is Iran’s choice,” he continued.