Iran nears a nuclear milestone
“I’m not going to put a date on this,” he told reporters, “but we’re getting closer to the point at which a stricter return to compliance “with the old deal” won’t reproduce the benefits of the agreement. does.”
He added that “as time goes on and Iran advances in its nuclear program, which includes spinning more sophisticated centrifuges, enriching more materials, learning more, there is a point at which all benefits are reaped.” It would be very difficult to do. The sanctions that Iran agreed to six years ago. “We are not at that point yet, but it is getting closer,” he said.
The next few weeks are considered crucial. The opening of the UN General Assembly is traditionally a moment for back-room diplomacy, particularly on Iran, and officials from the new Iranian government, including the new Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, are expected to make the first appearance. Mr Amir Abdullahian, 56, considered a hardliner, has indicated a willingness to renew the deal – but on terms that the new government can say have improved significantly.
Outside experts say both Iran and North Korea, which fired a new cruise missile on Sunday that demonstrated its ability to evade missile defense, see it as a moment for the Biden administration to test.
“There’s a terrifying parallel between what we’re seeing with enrichment in Iran and cruise missile testing in North Korea,” said Rose Gottmoeller, a former arms control official in multiple administrations who worked at Stanford University. “They are both trying to set the negotiating table in their favor as the Biden administration eventually turns to them.”
On Sunday, Iranian officials called on the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael M. Grossi, to let the agency reset monitoring equipment that helped measure the progress of the country’s nuclear program. In recent months, agency inspectors have been blindsided in their efforts to monitor some of the facilities, a growing source of concern for US officials who fear nuclear material may be diverted.
The agreement addresses the immediate inspection crisis, assuming inspectors are allowed to gain access to their cameras and other equipment and operate them again. But it does not address the country’s campaign to restore its uranium production – and at a far higher level than before 2015, and thus closer to bomb-grade material.
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