Iran Warns It Will Increase Enriched Uranium Stockpile to ‘Any Amount We Want’

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani waits to address the 68th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, September 24, 2013 (Ray Stubblebine/Reuters)

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that his country will begin increasing its stockpile of enriched to uranium, unconstrained by the limitations imposed under the 2015 nuclear treaty, unless the treaty’s remaining European signatories move to shield it from the devastating effects of U.S. sanctions.

“Our enrichment rate is not going to be 3.67 percent anymore,” Rouhani said during a broadcast on state media. “It’s going to be as much as we want it to be.”

The ultimatum comes after the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Monday that Iran had exceeded the 660 pound limit for low-enriched uranium mandated by the 2015 international nuclear treaty, which President Trump pulled out of as one of his first acts in office.

While the regime’s stockpile of high-enriched uranium remains well below the level required to build a nuclear weapon, its decision to press forward with enrichment reduces the so-called breakout time required to breach that threshold.

In his address Wednesday, Rouhani accused President Trump of sending contradictory signals on the importance of his continued compliance with the 2015 treaty.

“It’s interesting that until today the U.S. was referring to the JCPOA as a bad agreement, but now that Iran has decided to distance itself from this ‘bad agreement’ their shouts and cries are spread all over the world,” Rouhani said.

The deal is either “good or bad,” he added. “If its good, everyone should comply to their commitments,” he said. “Comparing your level of commitment to ours, how do you even allow yourselves to object?”

The deal’s remaining European signatories have established an alternative trading system to subvert the escalating U.S. sanctions that have deprived the regime of access to all oil export revenue. But Rouhani and fellow officials maintain that the Instex trading system is insufficient.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More


Someone tweeted this cartoon today, which apparently is intended to depict me. A few thoughts: I love the caricature. It’s really good. I may steal the second panel and use it for advertising. I hear this line of criticism fairly often from people who are not very bright or well-informed; in truth, I ... Read More