The nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers resume Monday in Vienna, Austria, with the US not attending in person, and instead relying on middlemen.

However, as one diplomatic source told Israel Hayom, “Iran is just a few weeks away from producing enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb. The question of whether it will happen depends only on its political desire to do so.”

However, the source emphasized that the bomb itself has not been developed, and that so far there has been no evidence of an Iranian intention to break out and produce a bomb.

That source also emphasized that in light of Iran’s accelerated progress on the nuclear project over the past two years – and in contradiction to what the sides have said – it is almost impossible to return to the original nuclear agreement signed in 2015.

“Their progress is so significant that essentially, it is almost impossible to roll back the nuclear project to where it was two or three years ago,” the source added. “There is an accumulation of knowledge that cannot be erased. So, for example, today they know how to enrich uranium to 60%. That’s not something you can roll back. They also perform the enrichment in an intensive fashion, which is something they hadn’t known. They’ve accumulated assets.”

“They haven’t yet reached 90% enrichment, which is what’s required for a bomb, but they have the knowledge and the abilities to do so. The question whether there will be a breakout or not, depends only on whether Iran has the political desire to do it.”

Meanwhile, Israel is concerned that that the US and West will settle for a partial agreement, which will be even more limited than the original deal. Such a deal would include removal of sanctions in exchange for Iran ceasing their uranium enrichment, and it would not remove Iran’s nuclear infrastructure or the 25 kilograms of uranium which have already been enriched, or tackle Iran’s aggression in the region or its nuclear program. It would also not fulfill the US administration’s promise of a “longer and stronger” Iran deal.

According to Israel Hayom, this estimation is based on messages sent to Jerusalem in recent days saying that “first of all, we need to stop the Iranians’ hurried race to enrich [uranium]. That’s the most urgent thing.”

Moment of truth in Vienna as nuclear talks resume

Josh Toupos

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