Issues

US Will Not Lift Iran Sanctions Until It Stops Enriching Uranium – Biden

02/07/2021

US President Joe Biden announced Sunday morning that the US will not lift any of the sanctions placed on Iran unless it stops enriching uranium. Biden made the comments during an interview CBS News’ “Face the Nation”.

Biden explained that for any progress to be made, Iran must first stop its uranium enrichment. In recent weeks, Iran has escalated its violations of the 2015 nuclear deal – known as the JCPOA – and has enriched uranium to 20 percent, higher than the amount it is allowed under the deal. A nuclear bomb requires uranium enriched to over 90 percent. 

The last quarterly estimates by the UN nuclear watchdog in November show that Iran‘s stock of enriched uranium had risen to 2.4 tons, more than 10 times the amount allowed under the deal but still a fraction of the more than eight tons it had before.

Since then, Iran has started enriching uranium to higher purity, returning to the 20% it achieved before the deal from a previous maximum of 4.5%. The deal sets a limit of 3.67%, far below the 90% that is weapons grade.

On Friday, The Wall Street Journal revealed that new evidence had recently been uncovered by UN inspectors indicating that Iran is engaged in undeclared nuclear activities. 

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said last week it would take Iran around six months to produce enough fissile material for a single nuclear weapon.

Read More: Jerusalem Post