IAEA: Iran Making Nuclear Fuel at Protected Site – David E. Sanger and William J. Broad
International nuclear inspectors reported on Friday that Iran was moving more rapidly to produce nuclear fuel than many outsiders expected at the Fordow underground facility near Qum. IAEA inspectors found in their most recent visits that over the past three months, Iran had tripled its production capacity for a more purified type of fuel that is far closer to what is needed to make the core of a nuclear weapon. The new report indicated that 696 centrifuges have been installed at Fordow. An additional 2,088 have been partially installed.
Iran said it has produced fuel enriched to 20% purity to replenish a small nuclear reactor in Tehran that is used to make medical isotopes. ”They have now produced nearly enough 20% to fuel the Tehran Research Reactor for the next 20 years,” one European diplomat said Friday. (New York Times)
UN Sees Spike in Iran’s Uranium Production – Joby Warrick
The International Atomic Energy Agency report released Friday showed a nearly 50% jump since the fall in Iran’s stockpile of a kind of highly enriched uranium that is closer to weapons-grade than the type normally used in nuclear power plants. More than a third of the increased output came from Fordow. Iran already has enough enriched uranium to build four nuclear weapons. (Washington Post)
IAEA: Iran Uranium ”Discrepancy” Still Unresolved – Fredrik Dahl
Iran has yet to give an explanation over a small quantity of uranium missing from a research site. The U.S. has expressed concern the material may have been diverted to suspected weapons-related research. (Reuters)
America’s Iranian Self-Deception – Frederick W. Kagan and Maseh Zarif (Wall Street Journal)
- There is no case to be made that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. There is no evidence that Iran’s decision-makers are willing to stop the nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions or anything else. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Friday that it has made no progress in its negotiations with Iran and that Iran continues to accelerate its enrichment operations, which are in violation of UN Security Council resolutions and agreements with the IAEA.
- Yet the prospect of war with Iran is so distasteful that people are desperate to persuade themselves that the problem is not serious.
- IAEA inspectors on the ground at Iran’s nuclear facilities reported on Friday that Iran’s inventory of centrifuges enriching uranium isotopes has been steadily expanding, along with the stockpiles of enriched uranium. Iran is also developing techniques and technologies needed to turn weapons-grade uranium (which it is not yet producing) into an atomic bomb. Iran’s behavior makes sense only if its leadership is determined to have a nuclear program that can develop and field atomic weapons.
- The statements and actions of Iran’s leaders – juxtaposing bellicosity with offers of negotiations – make perfect sense if they are intended to cover the acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability.
- The Iranians are advancing technically as fast as they can to acquire the fuel for a nuclear bomb. They also are pursuing key elements of a weaponization program separately and covertly. Add it up any way you like: Iran is starting to race to reach a breakout point at which the international community will be unable to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, short of a massive American military strike. The evidence available supports no other conclusion.
- Neither American nor Israeli nor any Western interest is served by lying to ourselves and pretending the predicament will go away.
Mr. Kagan is director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Zarif is research manager at the Critical Threats Project and leads its Iran team.
Se också U.S. Does Not Believe Iran Is Trying to Build Nuclear Bomb – Ken Dilanian (Los Angeles Times)
Se också U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb – James Risen and Mark Mazzetti (New York Times)