The New York Times has reported that President Trump examined options to attack Iran's nuclear infrastructure before he leaves office but that his senior advisors dissuaded him from taking action. The reports emerged after The International Atomic Energy (IAEA) reported significant growth in Iran's stockpiles of nuclear material. Even though Tehran has insisted that its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes, its levels of enriched uranium are now 12 times the limit agreed in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The IAEA has also criticized Iranian explanations for nuclear material stored at an undeclared site, stating that they are not credible. Iran was only allowed produce 300kg of enriched uranium in the UF6 compound for a period of 15 years under the terms of the JCPOA. Its low-enriched uranium stockpile declined drastically after it was agreed, falling from 8,300kg to 200kg, according to IAEA data published by Bloomberg. In mid-2017, it even fell as low as 80kg. Trump took the U.S. out of the nuclear deal in May 2018, signing a Presidential Memorandum, ordering harsher sanctions to be reinstated.
Since the American withdrawal, Iranian uranium stockpiles initially grew at a very slow place and the IAEA announced that they surpassed the 300kg amount in July 2019. Earlier this month, international inspectors published their latest report, stating that Iran's stockpiles have now reached 2,442.9kg and if that quantity was enriched to weapons grade, it could be enough to produce three bombs. President-elect Joe Biden said he intends reviving the deal when he takes office but the data in the IAEA reports highlight how difficult a task this will be.