Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has decided to rein in the country's nuclear progress in order to avoid passing the "red line" put forth by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ahead of elections in the country, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing Israeli, US and European officials.
According to the officials, the move is designed to avert an international crisis ahead of the Iranian presidential election set for June.
Khamenei desires to replace outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad with someone who is more amenable to his positions. While it was originally feared that the Iranian supreme leader would intensify nuclear efforts in order to precipitate a showdown with Israel and the US and thus gain electoral support for his candidate, thus far he has taken the opposite tack, the officials stated.
Iran has kept its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent below 250 kilograms, the amount that would be needed, if further processed to weapon grades fuel, to make one nuclear bomb, according to the report.
The 250 kilogram mark was also noted as the "red line" for a military strike which Iran should not be allowed to pass by Netanyahu in his speech to the UN General Assembly in September.