Jan. 11, 2017
- Iran Stockpiling Uranium Far Above Current Needs – Olli Heinonen
On Jan. 1, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran had imported 200 metric tons of yellowcake uranium and would import another 120 tons at a future date. The imports are permitted by the nuclear deal, but nonetheless significantly exceed Iran’s needs for natural (unenriched) uranium over the next 15 years. There is no plausible justification for the acquisition of several hundred tons of yellowcake.
Iran’s import of such high levels of uranium suggests it may be stockpiling uranium to reach nuclear breakout before the deal’s initial limitations expire. Tehran additionally produces uranium domestically from its mines at Gacchin and Saghand. Dr. Olli Heinonen is former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and head of its Department of Safeguards. (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)