A senior White House official said Tuesday that the US was watching Iran’s nuclear progress “with deep concern,” after Tehran recently revealed that it started enriching uranium to even higher levels at a new location.
“We are continuing to watch, not only their nuclear progress with deep concern, but also their continually improving ballistic missile capability,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
Reiterating a commitment made by US President Joe Biden that Iran would never be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon, Kirby said “all options” were being made available to the American president.
“We certainly have not changed our view that we will not allow Iran to achieve a nuclear weapons capability,” he said.
Kirby’s comments come after Iran said it was producing uranium enriched to 60 percent at the Fordo plant for the first time.
An atomic bomb requires uranium enriched to 90 percent, so 60 percent is a significant step towards weapons-grade enrichment.
The heavily protected Fordo plant around 110 miles (190 kilometers) south of Tehran was built deep underground in a bid to shield it from air or missiles strikes by Iran’s enemies.
Iran in April announced that its older facility at Natanz, southeast of Fordo, had ramped uranium enrichment to 60 percent.
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