Diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon must be restarted, said International Atomic Energy Organization chief Rafael Grossi, who warned Tehran has accumulated enough material for “several nuclear weapons”.
Before a scheduled visit to Tehran, Grossi told a European Parliament subcommittee in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran has not yet built a nuclear weapon and that the West must redouble its efforts to stop it.
Uranium enriched to over 90% can be weaponized. According to Grossi, Iran has enriched 70 kilograms of uranium to 60% purity and 1,000 kilograms to 20% purity.
The IAEA chief will head to Tehran in February for a “much-needed political dialogue”, despite the fact that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear deal signed with Iran in 2015, is “in very bad shape”. he said.
Grossi described the JCPOA as “an empty shell,” and said diplomatic activity related to the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal is almost nonexistent.
“No one has declared it dead, but no commitment is being pursued, and … every limit that existed in the JCPOA has been violated multiple times,” Grossi said.
Last year, the IAEA asked Iran to explain why traces of uranium were found in three areas not intended for nuclear activity. Iran retaliated by removing 27 cameras from the IAEA.
On Tuesday, Grossi said the move left his agency “blind” on several aspects, including how much material, equipment and centrifuges are currently there.
Grossi’s planned visit was confirmed by Mohammad Eslami, the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, who said Tehran expects a visit from the IAEA chief, Fars news agency reported Wednesday.
The decline in efforts to revive the deal comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and Iran.
The European Union has brokered indirect talks between Washington and Tehran to revive the nuclear deal, but negotiations stalled after the Iranian government asked for more guarantees.
Talks were then completely halted by nationwide protests in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini in September.
“The JCPOA has not been on the agenda for months,” Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department, said Tuesday.
The Biden administration has also introduced sanctions against Tehran following government crackdowns on protesters, including executions of those accused of being involved.