Meeting of Joint Commission on Iran nuclear deal in Vienna Photograph:( Reuters )
Speaking to WION, Former advisor to the Israeli Ministry of Defence Ely Karmon also dispelled Iran’s long-held assertion that their nuclear programme is only for civilian purposes
Former advisor to the Israeli Ministry of Defence Ely Karmon spoke to WION on Tuesday to present a breakdown of Iran’s uranium enrichment plan.
He said that Iranians have 3,000 kilograms of enriched uranium and are capable to produce a nuclear bomb in two months.
“Iranians, today, have the capability to produce a nuclear bomb in two months. They have 3,000 kilograms of enriched uranium, from this 120 kg is 60 per cent pure, which means that with 200 kilograms they can build a bomb. They are now probably preparing to reach 90 per cent purity,” said Karmon, who is a senior research scholar at International Institute for Counter-Terrorism.
Karmon also dispelled Iran’s long-held assertion that their nuclear programme is only for civilian purposes.
“Israel has the archives of the (Iran’s) nuclear program, which clearly shows that they aim it to use for military purposes. They, however, stopped mid-way because of the threat from the US. We also understand that they are producing nuclear missiles, which has the capability to hit at the distance of 2,000 kilometres,” Karmon said.
When asked whether Iran would pause their military nuclear programme under pressure from the US, Karmon said, “US has become much weaker because it retreated from the Middle East momentarily and suffered a loss in Afghanistan and also, they didn’t arrive in any agreement with the North Koreans. So, Iranians are clearly sure that the US cannot impose their will on them.”
Karmon said that even if a nuclear agreement with Iran is reached, there is always a possibility that Tehran would restart its military nuclear programme.
“We need a sensitive intelligence, and at the moment US is not controlling what happens on the ground. According to information from national defence forces, they have already prepared to reach 90 per cent purity, which means they want to go nuclear,” he said.
Currently, negotiations are underway between Iran, Russia, China, Germany, France and the UK to revive reviving Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal.
The United States, which was instrumental in drafting the 2015 nuclear deal, momentarily stepped out after pressure from the then-president Donald Trump in 2018.
But then in 2019, President Joe Biden signalled his intention to rejoin the talks.
Tehran has been enriching uranium up to 60 per cent purity — a short step from weapons-grade levels of 90 per cent. According to reports, Iran has also been stepping up the use of advanced centrifuges at sites barred by the accord, and its uranium stockpile now far exceeds the accord’s limits.