Iran has deny authority access to camera and other monitoring devices intended to monitor the progress of the nuclear program, making it difficult to know exactly how much uranium has been highly enriched. “When it comes to nuclear, nice words are not enough,” Grossi said, adding that Iran must grant inspectors access “comparable to the size” of its uranium enrichment program. if the agency can reliably guarantee that it takes place peacefully.
Given Iran’s steady progress in technical knowledge and its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, the country is now considered by many to be a “threshold country”, capable of making bombs if it wants, though Tehran denies any intention to do so. That gives Iran significant influence and could encourage other countries to pursue nuclear weapons, effectively scrapping the 52-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In July, Kamal Kharrazi, a senior adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said that the country now has the technical capability to produce an atomic bomb. According to the semi-official Fars news agency, his comments were echoed Monday by Mohammad Eslami, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.
Three weeks ago, Richard Moore, the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, MI6, said he doubted Iran would accept an extension of the nuclear deal. “I am skeptical that the supreme leader will execute the deal,” he said, referring to Ayatollah Khamenei. He added that while a deal is being discussed, and although he believes China and Russia will not block a deal, “I don’t think the Iranians want it.”
However, neither Tehran nor Washington is seen as capable of declaring an end to the negotiations, because that would present complicated choices about what to do next, given the US and Israel have repeated vows that they would do whatever was necessary to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. In mid-July, President Biden and the Prime Minister of Israel, Yair Lapid, sign a joint statement said that the United States would use “all elements of national power” to deny Iran the ability to equip nuclear weapons.
The Biden administration recently imposed additional sanctions on Iran, targeting companies used by the country’s Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Trading Company. Iran later announced that it was activating hundreds of new and advanced centrifuges already installed in an underground nuclear site in Natanz.