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Eli Lake

Iran’s Secret Nuclear Past Is Now Coming Into Focus

A new report raises questions about how long the regime has been working on weapons. 

Reporting from a warehouse.

Reporting from a warehouse.

Photographer: JACK GUEZ/AFP

Five years ago, as the U.S. was hammering out the final details of the Iran nuclear deal, negotiators relented on a key demand: Iran would not have to account for the possible military dimensions of its past nuclear activities. This bargain was enshrined in a December 2015 report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, which closed the longstanding investigation into Iran’s nuclear program.

Now it appears that investigation is reopened. Bloomberg News is reporting that the agency has rebuked Iran for stonewalling inspectors with new questions about Iran’s past nuclear-weapon work. The agency says that Iran now possesses 1,021 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, up from 372 kilograms last fall.