Israel has been sharing intelligence with the United States showing that Iran is “taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium” to weapons-grade 90 percent purity, according to a report Monday.
The preparations could enable Tehran to reach weapons-grade level within just a few weeks, Axios reported, citing two US sources briefed on the matter. Israeli analysts have reportedly warned the US that Iran could make such a decision soon, in order to influence the nuclear talks with world powers, which restarted in Vienna on Monday months after they were suspended.
Iran is currently enriching uranium to 60% purity, already far exceeding the cap set in the 2015 nuclear deal. There is no civilian use for 90% enriched uranium.
In public comments on Monday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Israeli defense officials were sharing intelligence with allies “indicating Iran is continuing to rush toward a nuclear” bomb ahead of the resumption of the nuclear talks.
He called on world powers to exact a “price” from Iran for its continued uranium enrichment in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.
“There needs to be a price that is expressed in economic sanctions and military activities so that the Iranians halt their nuclear race and their regional aggression,” Gantz added.
Israel also reportedly shared intelligence indicating that the Islamic Republic could intensify its attacks on US forces in the Middle East, via proxies in various countries, in a bid to gain leverage in the talks.