Donnerstag, 02.12.2021 / 17:53 Uhr

Israel: Iran reichert Uran zu 90% an

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Bildquelle: Pixabay

Während in Wien mal wieder verhandelt wird, warnen die Israel und stehen nicht etwa alleine da. Auch ein hochranginger US-General geht davon aus, dass der Iran inzwischen entweder schon über waffenfähiges Uran verfüge oder kurz davor sei, es zu produzieren zu können.

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

State of play: Enrichment alone will not produce a bomb. Estimates vary as to how long it would take Iran to master the additional technological requirements, but U.S. and Israeli intelligence sources have put the timeline at one to two years.

  • Iran is already enriching uranium to 60%, far beyond the levels allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal that Donald Trump abandoned and President Biden is now attempting to salvage.
  • There is no civilian use for 90%-enriched uranium.

Behind the scenes: The intelligence Israel shared with the Biden administration suggests the Iranian preparatory steps would allow Iran to move ahead with 90% enrichment within weeks if it chose to do so, according to one of the U.S. sources.

  • Israeli intelligence analysts assess that Iran could take that dramatic step soon in an attempt to gain leverage in the Vienna talks, the source said.
  • Israel also shared an intelligence assessment that Iran's desire for leverage in Vienna could lead Tehran to further increase attacks against U.S. forces and interests in the region via proxies in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, the U.S. source said.
  • Asked to comment on this story, a senior Biden administration official declined to discuss intelligence matters but said it was “no secret that the former administration's decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal led to a dramatic and unprecedented acceleration of Iran's nuclear program," and that the U.S. was focused on diplomacy with Iran but "prepared to pursue other options should diplomacy fail."