Reports say that Iran is looking to seek Russia’s help in building up its nuclear program, and this is likely because Tehran realizes that a deal with the world powers may not happen.
Sources indicate that Iran has been asking Russia to help meet their needs for nuclear materials and fuel fabrication. With this fuel, Iran would be able to generate power for their nuclear reactors and – theoretically – shorten their “breakout time” to create a nuclear weapon, according to some intelligence.
Ukraine’s president said that Iran was looking to Russia in exchange for the military assistance they’ve given to Moscow. And while US intelligence doesn’t have evidence of an explicit quid-pro-quo, it’s clear there is some type of agreement.
Iran’s overtures to Russia appear to be uplifted, at least in part by the belief that a new nuclear deal might not be pursued or, if it is, won’t have any staying power.
Furthermore, experts have been saying that there are different nuclear proliferation risks depending on what kind of reactor the fuel is being used for. And we still don’t know if Russia will give Iran the help needed.
The US contends that Iran’s uranium enrichment activities are in disregard of the restrictions that have been set under the 2015 nuclear deal. In addition, the time has also shortened, and it’s just a matter of months now when Iran will have produced enough fissile material to create a nuclear weapon.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned lawmakers that Iran’s nuclear program is continuing to grow and that the country is soon no longer going to have enough material for breakout time. With current rates of growth, they could have enough nuclear material in a few months at best or even a few weeks.
The Biden government is concerned about any budding partnership between Iran and Russia. New alliances with Russia may give Iranian’s the power they need to work around the P5+1, which is currently negotiating to impede Iranian ambitions.
Russia played an important part in the nuclear talks throughout 2021. They mediated some talks that helped the International Atomic Energy Agency move forward with inspection at Iranian nuclear sites, thus keeping the negotiations on track.
However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Russian officials appeared not to be very invested in the agreement.
Then in the month of June, Russian officials rejected a resolution proposed by the IAEA, which stated that Iran didn’t cooperate in an inspection where some traces were found in the undeclared sites.
In the same month, Russian delegates went to Iran airfields and examined some of the advanced weapons and drones. They’ve been purchasing those drones and are currently using them against Ukraine in the war.