Weapon Program Background Report
Since the United States withdrew from the international agreement restricting Iran's nuclear program, Iran has taken its own steps in violation of the accord. These measures include accumulating over 300 kilograms of enriching uranium, enriching it to levels beyond 3.67 percent, and deploying advanced centrifuges at Fordow and Natanz.
With its known capacity, Iran cannot make a sudden dash to produce the fuel for a small nuclear arsenal of five implosion-type warheads – the goal Iran set for itself when it began to work on nuclear weapons decades ago. Instead, the main nuclear weapon risk in Iran is secret sites, which Iran has relied on to carry out illicit work in the past.
On October 8, 2020, the United States designated Iran’s financial sector and sanctioned eighteen Iranian banks. In doing so, the U.S. Treasury Department applied secondary sanctions to Iran's entire financial sector for the first time, potentially barring foreign entities from the U.S. financial system.
International Enforcement Actions
For years, Iran has violated the United Nations’ arms embargo on Yemen by smuggling weapons to the Houthis, an Iranian-aligned movement of Yemeni rebels. In November 2019 and February 2020, the U.S. Navy intercepted two of those shipments.