Iran’s uranium enrichment above 60% could trigger Israeli strike: official
Israeli officials warned the Biden administration that Iran is enriching uranium to a dangerous level and could trigger an Israeli military strike.
A senior Israeli official told Axios that Israel monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program and can take action if it enriches uranium above the 60% level.
The warning came as Israel continues to warn of military action against Tehran to keep the country from developing nuclear weapons.
A report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month claims that Iran collected 87.5 kg of 60 percent enriched uranium. Weapons-grade uranium has an enrichment of 90%, which would be enough for a nuclear bomb.
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The IAEA report states that Iran produced a small amount of uranium particles enriched up to 83.7% pure. An Israeli official told Axios they were not concerned because Tehran had not reportedly accumulated particles at that level.
A Pentagon spokesman told Congress last month that Iran could produce enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb in 12 days.
“Back in 2018, when the previous administration decided to withdraw from the JCPOA, it would have taken Iran about 12 months to produce fissile material for one bomb,” said Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl. “Now it will take about 12 days.”
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Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital that military power is Israel’s key deterrent against Iranian nuclear escalation.
“Make no mistake, the red line that goes up to 60% already tells you everything you need to know about how many barriers the Islamic Republic’s nuclear escalation has overcome,” Taleblu said. “There was a time when the international community was pushing for zero enrichment in Iran.”
“Israel’s statement is likely to have multiple audiences. In Iran, its purpose may be to remind the regime of Israel’s determination to prevent clerics from going nuclear,” Taleblu added. “But abroad, it’s a reminder that engagement and strike will get you nowhere with this regime.”
Paul Best and Evan Evansky of Fox News contributed to this report.