In its upcoming report, the UN nuclear watchdog is expected to reveal that Iran is continuing to move forward with its nuclear program, Reuters reported on Monday. The International Atomic Energy Agency will cite diplomats who said that Tehran has increased its capacity to enrich uranium, and has begun to produce fuel for a plutonium reactor in Arak, the report said.
At the same time, the IAEA inspectors are expected to confirm that Iran maintains limited production of uranium gas.
The quarterly report is expected to be delivered to UN member states on Wednesday, and will focus on the period before Hasan Rouhani replaced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the Iranian president in early August.
Rouhani, himself a former nuclear negotiator for Iran, is widely seen as more moderate than his predecessor and has pledged repeatedly to improve international relations so as to ease sanctions that have crippled Iran in recent years as the international community has attempted to curb its nuclear program.
Iran has insisted all along that is nuclear program is not aimed to produce weapons, but most of the world has remained unconvinced.
Although he’s perceived as being less of a hard-liner than Ahmadinejad, Rouhani does not, in fact, have a definitive say in Iran’s nuclear program. Those decisions remain in the hands of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Israel has intimated that if the Iranian nuclear program continues apace, it may launch a military strike to curb it as a last resort.