U.S. intel: Iran, Russia, China leading cyber charge against U.S.
Senior Iranian leaders on Thursday signaled the country is on the brink of restarting its contested nuclear weapons program, disclosing the Islamic Republic is prepared to restart the full-scale enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, if it does not continue to receive cash windfalls from European countries still committed to the landmark nuclear agreement.
Iran's warning represents a further escalation of its threats as the U.S. intelligence and security community identified Tehran as one of the top emerging global threats that could shake the international balance and arm the region with nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, according to a new U.S. threat assessment.
Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, disclosed Thursday that Iran is working to enrich uranium to extreme levels prohibited under the current accord. This work would enable Iran to stockpile large quantities of highly enriched uranium that are required to fuel a nuclear weapon.
"I would like to warn that this is not a bluff; I have kept my word whenever I've said something," Salehi was quoted as saying during a tour of Iran's Fordow nuclear facility, a contested military site that still has not be subjected to full international inspections. "Now I'm emphasizing once again that if the establishment wants, we can easily return to the 20-percent enrichment, and meet the country's needs at any level and volume."