Amid revelations from the International Atomic Energy Agency this week that the Islamic Republic of Iran has accumulated near-weapons-grade enriched uranium for its alleged nuclear weapons program, Fox News Digital has learned that Iran has offered to guarantee deliveries of the uranium. Allegedly made secret deals with Russia for
In what could be a major blow to a new Iran nuclear deal, foreign intelligence sources speaking on condition of anonymity, and who are familiar with talks between Moscow and Tehran over Iran’s alleged illegal nuclear weapons work, told Fox Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to return enriched uranium, which was obtained from Iran, if a potential nuclear deal fails, News Digital reported. The State Department would neither confirm nor deny these reports.
“We will not comment on purported secret intelligence reports, but in any case the JCPOA has not been on the agenda for months,” a State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital. A spokeswoman for the National Security Council deferred comment to the State Department.
A key component of the effort by the US and other world powers to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the Iran nuclear deal, is for Russia to store Tehran’s enriched uranium. The rationale for Russia storing uranium is to prevent the regime from using the material to build a nuclear bomb.
Foreign intelligence sources claim, “As part of the agreement between the two countries, Russia has pledged to return all enriched uranium to Iran as soon as possible, if for any reason the US backs out of the deal. “
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“It would make sense to me that they would agree to that type of side deal,” said Rebekah Koffler, a former analyst at the US Defense Intelligence Agency. Koffler stated that, “Based on my knowledge of Russian doctrine and state business, the Russians are trying to play both sides. On the one hand, they don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons. On the other hand, they want aid.” Are.” From Iran to Ukraine.”
“Russia benefits from being one side of the JCPOA,” said Koffler, an expert on Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. “Russia’s strategy is to drag things out and play both sides. Putin benefits both sides, but he also It is also perceived as a deal maker. Russia is signaling that the US is dependent on Russia.”
She concluded that, “The Russians are trying to signal to the Iranians that they will help them like they did with Iran’s civilian nuclear program. On the other hand, they may want to pressure the US into agreeing to the deal. It is . Just part of Putin’s standard playbook for trying to manipulate his opponents.”
Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 because he and his administration believed that the JCPOA failed to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb. Trump’s White House also argued that the Iran nuclear deal did not act on theocratic state terrorism and did not restrict its missile program.
Iran’s regime wants a firm agreement from the Biden administration that it and a future US administration will not freeze the new JCPOA. The White House said it could not guarantee that the new administration would not renege on the controversial deal.
On Tuesday, a top US Defense Department official told Congress that Iran’s regime could develop enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb in just 12 days.
Asked about secret deals between Iran and Russia over enriched uranium shipments, Mojtaba Babaei, spokesperson for Iran’s mission to the United Nations, told Fox News Digital: “There is no information about the claim.”
He said, “Massimo Apparo, Deputy Director General and Head of the Security Department, visited Iran last week and checked the alleged enrichment rate. Based on Iran’s assessment, the alleged enrichment percentage has been resolved between Iran and the IAEA . Due to the IAEA preparing the report ahead of his visit, the results of his visit are not in it and it is expected that the IAEA Director General will mention this in his oral report to the Board of Governors.”
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When questioned about the Islamic republic building nuclear weapons, Babaei said, “Iran has no plans to build nuclear weapons because its military doctrine forbids the use of weapons of mass destruction in any form.”
Experts on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program have long disagreed with the Islamic republic’s denials and growing cooperation between Russia and Iran has escalated the conflict over Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Jason Brodsky, policy director for the US-based United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), told Fox News Digital that “the alleged side deals between Iran and Russia on the nuclear file demonstrate the risks of relying on Moscow as just a partner”. or guarantor in an arrangement like the JCPOA. With its invasion of Ukraine the geopolitical context has fundamentally changed.”
He said, “P5+1 [China, France, Russia, Britain, U.S. and Germany] Not a viable diplomatic platform in these conditions of great power conflict. Iran in 2023 has more leverage over Russia than it did in 2015 with arms supplies. The Kremlin cannot be trusted in this dynamic. The JCPOA of 2015 has no future. It’s time to declare it dead, implement a snapback sanctions mechanism, and the diplomatic track moved from side to side as the pivot of a deterrence strategy.”
Iran’s regime is supplying Russia with sophisticated lethal drone technology in its war against Ukraine.
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The uranium enrichment deal was finalized during Putin’s visit to Iran in July 2022. The reciprocal arrangement that appeared between totalitarian regimes further cemented their growing alliance.
Intelligence officials said, “President Putin, who made a special visit to Iran to push forward an arms deal between the two countries, agreed to accede to the request, apparently in return for his assistance in compensating the Iranians for their assistance.” Because of interest.” There was also talk of secret deals between Moscow and Tehran during August 2022, when Iran’s regime was providing a shot at Putin’s war machine in Ukraine.
According to intelligence officials, the Iranians seized the opportunity during Putin’s dire need for drones and demanded “nuclear guarantees” that would enable Iran to “restore its uranium stockpile to the volume and level of enrichment”. which it had maintained prior to the resumption of the agreement.” ,
An attempt to sideline the US and other Western powers would defeat the entire purpose of the Iran nuclear deal, argued intelligence officials, who said, “It would significantly undermine US interests and give Russia de facto control over the nuclear deal.” and the future.”
The Biden administration is deeply committed to the Iran nuclear deal, which will provide Tehran with financial benefits of up to $275 billion during the first year of the deal and a staggering $1 trillion by 2030, according to a US think tank study .
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In an unusual move, the Biden administration is following a more hardline approach than its Western European counterparts, which want Iran to be locked into Monday’s IAEA meeting on enriching weapons-grade uranium. The Islamic Republic has committed to producing 60% of the weapons-grade material by 2021, but new material was discovered showing 84% purity. Weapons-grade uranium starts at around 90%.
Michael Singh, an expert on Iran’s nuclear program and managing director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, called on the Biden administration and its allies to “roll back sanctions” against Iran in a late February article on the think tank’s website. requested. Weapons-grade uranium enrichment near Tehran
The 2015 JCPOA includes a clause that allows for snapback sanctions and Singh argued that the sanctions “will strengthen military deterrence, and planning for potential crisis scenarios.”
The controversy over Iran’s illegal enrichment of weapons-grade uranium comes amid a Fox News Digital report that Tehran may be behind an assassination and terrorist target list focused on law enforcement agencies in Boston.
The US government, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, has classified Iran’s regime as the worst state sponsor of international terrorism.
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Fox News Digital questions to the Russian government and the IAEA were not immediately returned.
IAEA Director General Grossi said in Tehran on Saturday that he had “constructive” meetings and reached an agreement with Iran on near-weapons-grade enrichment of uranium. Grossi met with Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
The IAEA board is due to meet in Vienna on Monday to consider the organization’s latest report and may once again censure Iran for its actions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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