Davos 2024: IAEA chief says Iran has enough uranium to produce military grade weapons, not cooperating

Iran had previously slowed down uranium enrichment in 2023 during informal talks with the United States, but later resumed the process.

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Courtesy: X/rafaelmgrossi

Davos 2024: Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi has voiced deep concerns over Iran's restricted cooperation with the agency. Grossi, in an interview with AFP on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, described the situation as "extremely frustrating," emphasising that Iran's disputes with Western countries are negatively impacting the IAEA's ability to carry out its responsibilities.

In a video which was posted on X, Grossi can be seen speaking in Davos. The United Nations chief estimated that Iran now has the ability to produce weapons grade uranium. 

Davos 2024: Unprecedented restrictions on cooperation

Grossi highlighted Iran's unprecedented limitations on cooperation, citing instances where inspectors were rejected based on their nationalities. He expressed that such actions are a form of punishment directed at the IAEA due to external geopolitical issues. "It's as if they were taking the IAEA hostage to their political disputes with others. This is unacceptable for us," Grossi stated.

Davos 2024: Iran's nuclear programme, diplomacy efforts

The IAEA has faced challenges in monitoring Iran's nuclear program since 2021, with Tehran's continuous expansion despite denying intentions to develop nuclear weapons. Grossi urged the importance of diplomacy to address the situation, emphasising the need for ongoing dialogue to prevent further deterioration.

Iran had previously slowed down uranium enrichment in 2023 during informal talks with the United States, but later resumed the process. Grossi acknowledged the current plateau but highlighted the unpredictability of the situation, stating, "We never know."

Davos 2024: IAEA's concerns about Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Apart from Iran, Grossi expressed deep concern about the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine. While there are no signs of the plant becoming a military installation, Grossi described the condition as "extremely worrying." Russian forces have occupied the plant since March 2022, within a combat zone, making it structurally unstable.

Davos 2024: Challenges at Zaporizhzhia plant 

Grossi emphasized the importance of granting IAEA inspectors access to the Zaporizhzhia plant. He confirmed that there was no militarization in terms of heavy military equipment but highlighted challenges such as blackouts and interruptions in external power supply. Losing power could lead to the inability to cool the reactors, posing a potential risk.

In conclusion, Grossi stressed the critical need for diplomacy to address both the challenges posed by Iran's nuclear program and the concerns surrounding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.