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Forklift carries a cylinder containing uranium hexafluoride gas

Iran Defies Western Powers with Enriched Uranium Work

Iran has defied Western countries by carrying out work on near-weapons grade enriched uranium that will make it harder to implement the terms of any revived nuclear deal with world powers, Reuters reported Wednesday, March 16.

The work carried out earlier this month was to convert the uranium into a type that is less easily recovered and diluted so that it can then be removed from the country, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency report issued to member states last Thursday and seen by Reuters.

It came as negotiations continue in Vienna to save the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a pact that aimed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons but has been in tatters after the US pulled out in 2018. Since then, Iran has dropped some of its own commitments, enriching uranium to levels beyond those in the deal and that the IAEA says are only used by states seeking a weapon.

Converting uranium into a different form in the manner Iran has done will make it harder to implement any agreement for it to return to lower limits of enriched uranium laid out in the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).

Diplomats say that the emerging agreement will require Iran to dispose of its uranium enriched above 3.67%. Iran’s most enriched uranium is at 60%, a short technical step from 90% weapons-grade, and it has about 33 kg of the material.

Until the recent work, it was all in the form of uranium hexafluoride, which can be easily diluted and transported, something that has been under discussion for months at the Vienna talks, Reuters reported. However, between March 6-9, Iran transformed 2.1 kg of up to 60% uranium from one form into 1.7 kg of another form. The process produced molybdenum 99, and another, a medical radioisotope. However, the enriched uranium then requires processing to recover it from the resulting materials. (TOI / VFI News)

When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. - Deuteronomy 20:1-4