Keep an eye on Iran

While the rest of the world was preoccupied with other things this spring and summer, Iranian leaders — despite a severe COVID-19 epidemic in their own country, were busy creating another threat.

Iran has continued to increase its stockpile of enriched uranium, needed to build the nuclear weapons for which the regime has been aiming. Such stockpiling violates agreements Tehran has with numerous other nations. Inspectors’ access to two suspected former nuclear sites is also, again, being denied.

International Atomic Energy Agency officials said a few weeks ago that Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile increased by more than 50% during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. Meanwhile, the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament has ratified a motion requiring the Iranian government to cease its voluntary implementation of the Iran nuclear deal’s Additional Protocol agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

U.S. officials already have slapped economic sanctions on Iran, despite having pulled out of the deal. France, Germany and the U.K. are nervous enough to step back from a planned lifting of the United Nations conventional arms embargo next October.

Clearly, however, more cooperation is needed from other nations to prevent Iran from achieving its goal of becoming a full-blown nuclear power.


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