Netanyahu: Coronavirus won’t diminish our determination to stop Iran

IAEA says Iran passed JCPOA enriched uranium limit and denying inspectors access to possible nuclear sites.

Benjamin Netanyahu at the unity government's meeting (photo credit: POOL)
Benjamin Netanyahu at the unity government's meeting
(photo credit: POOL)
Israel will block Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, even while responding to the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the opening of Sunday’s cabinet meeting.
He cited an International Atomic Energy Agency report released in recent days that says Iran refused to grant inspectors access to undeclared military nuclear sites.
“Iran systematically violates its commitments by hiding sites, by enriching fissile materials and other violations,” Netanyahu said. “Certainly now it is necessary in light of these revelations for the international community to join the US and use crippling sanctions against Iran.”
The prime minister added that “coronavirus does not diminish our determination to act against Iranian aggression at all.”
“Israel will not allow Iran to attain nuclear weapons and will continue to act systematically against Iran’s attempts to establish itself militarily on our borders,” he said.
In a report to member states on Friday, the IAEA expressed “serious concern that, for over four months, Iran has denied access to the Agency... to two locations.”
The UN agency posited that those sites may have been used for storing or processing nuclear material, and that one may have been used for converting uranium ore, including fluorination, in 2003.
The IAEA also warned that Iran has stockpiled more than five times as much enriched uranium as permitted by the 2015 nuclear deal with the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the US, which has since withdrawn from it. The agreement limited Iran to 300 kg. of enriched uranium, but it had 1,571.6 kg. as of May 20.
Iran also surpassed the deal’s enrichment limit of 3.67%, with the highest level currently reaching 4.5%. Experts say 90% is necessary for a nuclear weapon.
According to the Institute for Science and International Security, a nuclear-proliferation think tank, Iran has produced enough low-enriched uranium (LEU) to be able to break out in as little as three months.
Of their stockpile, 483 kg. of the uranium is only enriched to 2% or less, making it not useful. As such, the Institute for Science and International Security says Iran does not have enough LEU for a second significant quantity of enriched uranium.
In recent months, the IAEA chartered planes to visit Iranian nuclear sites because of a lack of availability of commercial flights during the coronavirus pandemic.