If one lesson could clearly be learned from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is that nuclear weapons can essentially provide impunity for dangerous regimes to commit any number of actions that are contrary to international norms, human rights norms, and the Geneva Convention on war crimes.

To prevent nuclear retaliation, most states will tolerate just about anything to prevent war.

Rather than heeding this lesson and actively working to prevent nuclear proliferation, in the case of Iran, a totalitarian theocratic state whose dictator who has dominated the country for 33 years speaks freely about annihilating its neighbors is being allowed to rapidly accelerate refinement, simply through the inaction of other states.

Iran recently confirmed that they had moved a centrifuge facility to a fortified site at Natanz in response to a “terrorist operation.” They have also far exceeded the refinement rules put in place under the Iran nuclear accord reached in 2015, which stated that their refined stockpile could not exceed 300 kilograms (661 pounds) at 3.67% purity.

The IAEA now says that Iran has stockpiled 3,200 kilograms, at up to 60% refined U-235. Purities over 90% are considered weapons grade.

This action, too, seems to be in contravention of the Ayatollah’s own fatwa against nuclear stockpiling, an interpretation for which opportunity has meant he no longer considers binding.

As refinement accelerates, the US and Iran seem no closer to a deal, even if such a deal would leave Iran’s rivals, including neighboring Sunni states and Israel, a state which the Ayatollah has made clear “will not exist in 25 years,” without their concerns, especially those regarding inspections and the time-limit on the agreement, addressed.