VIENNA, Austria — Iran has repeatedly violated a U.N. resolution banning ballistic-missile activities even as it is set to expire next month, Israel Atomic Energy Commission director general Moshe Edri told attendees at the annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna on Tuesday.
“Iran continues to develop, test and deploy long-range ballistic missiles in direct violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” he charged. “Iran, equipped with nuclear weapons and delivery systems, is not an option that Israel, or the world, can or should tolerate.”
On Oct. 18, provisions of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 regarding Iran’s ballistic-missile activities are set to expire, warned Edri, which he said would allow the Islamic Republic to continue to advance its ballistic missile program “without any formal limitations.”
“There is no doubt that Iran conducted a military nuclear program aimed to produce several nuclear-weapon devices. Iran continues to advance this program by gaining relevant technology and knowledge, along with fissile material in alarming amounts,” said Edri.
“This situation is dangerous and troubling,” said the top nuclear official in caution.
Iran has continued to amass uranium enriched to near weapons-grade levels, according to an IAEA report the AP obtained earlier this month. The nuclear watchdog’s report shows Tehran has 121.6 kilograms (268 pounds) of uranium enriched to 60%, which is a short technical step away from 90%, considered weapons-grade.
Iran continues to stonewall IAEA officials by denying them visas, while the “de-designation of experienced agency inspectors” is also challenging the body’s monitoring work, AP reported.
Moreover, the IAEA has been unable since February 2021 to access surveillance footage from declared nuclear sites, with the only recorded data as of June last year originating from cameras at a workshop in the Iranian city of Isfahan.
In related news, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given his blessing to direct nuclear negotiations with the United States, the London-based Amwaj.media news site reported on Tuesday.
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, is willing to meet with Biden administration officials in Oman “as early as the coming weeks,” the report stated, adding that Tehran wants to restart talks where they left off last summer.
Following months of indirect negotiations, talks between Tehran and Washington broke down a year ago, reportedly over Iran’s demand that Biden remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the U.S. list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager