In this June 6, 2018 frame grab from Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting, IRIB, state-run TV, three versions of domestically-built centrifuges are shown in a live TV program from Natanz, an Iranian uranium enrichment plant, in IranInternationalIndiaAfricaTel Aviv successfully lobbied Washington into scrapping the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, since holding joint drills with US forces practicing attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities. Tehran has denied having any ambitions to build a nuclear bomb and blasted the West over its silence on Israel’s own widely suspected nuke stockpiles.Iran is continuing its uranium enrichment effort, and has already amassed enough uranium to build five nuclear weapons, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has alleged.
"Make no mistake – Iran will not be satisfied by a single nuclear bomb. So far, Iran has gained material enriched to 20% and 60% for five nuclear bombs," Gallant said, speaking alongside Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos during a visit to Athens on Thursday.
The Israeli defense minister did not elaborate on how Iran’s uranium stockpiles were sufficient for five bombs, given that uranium must typically be enriched to 90% or more to be considered weapons grade. The US nuclear bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in August 1945 had an average enrichment rate of about 80%.
"Iranian progress, and enrichment to 90%, would be a grave mistake on Iran’s part, and could ignite the region," Gallant warned.
Iran dropped self-proscribed restrictions on uranium enrichment in 2019, just as it promised, exactly one year after the United States pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, and after the agreement’s European signatories – Britain, France, Germany and the European Union – failed to come up with a workaround to crushing US sanctions.Despite its enrichment activities, Tehran has stressed repeatedly that its nuclear activities are strictly peaceful, and that religious edicts, or fatwas, issued by both of its successive Supreme Leaders prohibit the creation of nuclear bombs.WorldIsrael May Reportedly Attack Iran If Uranium Enrichment Level Exceeds 60%23 March, 03:20 GMTThe Islamic Republic has instead entrusted its security to its vast arsenal of conventional ballistic and cruise missile – stockpiles the Pentagon believes to number in the thousands.Iran’s authorities have offered harsh criticism for the US, its allies and the International Atomic Energy Agency over the strict monitoring regime placed on the Iranian nuclear program, while Israel, faces no repercussions for flouting the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Israeli forces are estimated to possess 80 or more aircraft, missile and submarine-deliverable nukes.Iran gave up its stocks of chemical weapons in the 1990s before signing the Chemical Weapons Convention, and never used them during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s in spite of its legal right to do so.After coming into office in 2021, the Biden administration restarted negotiations on a possible US return to the JCPOA. However, talks have since stalled, with US President Joe Biden pronouncing negotiations “dead” in a leaked video published last year.AmericasLeaked Video: Joe Biden Admits Iran Nuclear Deal is ‘Dead’ Even as Talks Continue20 December 2022, 15:49 GMTLast year, the US and Israel signed a joint declaration pledging to “never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.” The two countries have also staged joint military drills simulating strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, with Tel Aviv setting aside a special $1.5 billion fund in its military budget specifically for preparations to strike Iran.The Islamic Republic has repeatedly warned Israel not to test its conventional capabilities, and has called on Washington to stop taking its marching orders from Tel Aviv.