Defense Minister Benny Gantz: Iran “stands just a few weeks away from accumulating fissile material that will be sufficient for a first bomb.”
While President Joe Biden’s administration continues to pin its hopes on reviving the Obama-Kerry nuclear deal, Iran is weeks away from enriching enough uranium and other material required to build its first bomb, the Israeli defense minister disclosed.
Iran “stands just a few weeks away from accumulating fissile material that will be sufficient for a first bomb,” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Tuesday. The regime “holds 60 kg of enriched material at 60%, produces metallic uranium at the enrichment level of 20%, and prevents the IAEA from accessing its facilities,” he explained.
As Biden White House plans to restart the talks with Iran early next month, the regime is expanding its nuclear weapons program, which includes constructing a new underground site at the Natanz nuclear facility in central Iran, the Israel defense minister added.
The Israeli news outlet Ynet reported the defense minister’s revelations:
Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned Tuesday that Iran has made significant strides vis-à-vis its nuclear program, partly by installing advanced uranium centrifuges at new sites near its Natanz nuclear facility.
Speaking at a conference by the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Reichman University, the defense minister said that “Iran is making an effort to complete the manufacturing and installation of 1,000 additional advanced IR6 centrifuges in its nuclear facilities, including new facilities being built at underground sites near Natanz”.
Gantz’s statement echoed a March 3 report by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which stated that Iran had installed or planned to install a total of three IR6 cascades, amounting to around 660 machines – as well as IAEA chief Rafael Grossi’s April report, which stated that Iran had set up a new underground Natanz workshop for making centrifuge parts, an apparent precaution against attacks.
The Natanz nuclear facility, located in the central Iranian province of Isfahan, will be vital to any effort aimed at disrupting Iran’s rogue nuclear weapons program. The regime is investing heavily in expanding and fortifying the site. As Reuters reported in mid-April, “Iran is starting to operate a new workshop at Natanz that will make parts for uranium-enriching centrifuges with machines moved there from its now-closed Karaj facility, the U.N. nuclear watchdog [IAEA] said in a report.”
The Natanz nuke site, secured by Iran’s elite Islamic Guard (IRGC), has suffered serious security breaches in recent years. In April 2021, a mysterious blast caused massive damage, destroying newly-commission advanced centrifuges. According to a New York Times report at that time, the incident “dealt a severe blow to Iran’s ability to enrich uranium.” Nearly two months later, the Karaj nuclear facility in northern Iran, reportedly manufacturing centrifuges, was also hit by an explosion and sustained significant damage.
IDF Simulates ‘Widescale’ Strike on Iran Nukes Sites
Having little faith in the Biden administration’s ability to stop Iran from going nuclear, Jerusalem appears to be working on capabilities to take down Iran’s rogue nuke program on its own. The Israel Defense Forces are set to simulate a ‘widescale’ strike on targets across Iran, the Israeli media said on Tuesday.
The Times of Israel reported the planned IDF exercise:
The Israel Defense Forces will simulate conducting a widescale strike in Iran, during the military’s monthlong Chariots of Fire exercise.
The drill will take place in Cyprus during the fourth and final week of the exercise, starting May 29.
Last September, IDF chief Aviv Kohavi said the army had “greatly accelerated” preparations for action against Iran’s nuclear program.
According to previous Israeli media reports, the IDF is already working on “operational plans” to hit the Iranian nuclear facilities. In October 2021, the Israeli government approved $1.5 billion for such a strike.DONATE
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