Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Iran Within Six Months of Nuclear Weapon

Are you saying that Mohamed Mustafa El Baradei, wannabe President of Egypt and former Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, was being less than forthright when he tut-tutted Iran's intentions?*
Say it ain't so!

Just as the Muslim Brotherhood with Iran's financial backing won't be running Egypt within two years.

From The Australian:
Iran just months from N-bomb 
IRAN may be just six months away from developing a nuclear bomb, despite international attempts to thwart the program through sanctions and cyber attacks.
Two years after an underground installation in the city of Qmo was revealed in a joint press conference by US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former British prime minister Gordon Brown, Iran has significantly advanced its uranium enrichment program at the site.
The latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency concludes that Iran has not only boosted production but upgraded the level of enrichment from 3.5 per cent to almost 20 per cent and has installed more sophisticated centrifuges, which it is moving to the bunker in Qom, apparently to protect them from airstrikes.
Low-enriched uranium is used for nuclear power, which Iran insists is the purpose of its program.Weapons-grade uranium is about 90 per cent enriched.
"We believe if Iran broke out now they could have a bomb in six months," said David Albright, a former weapons inspector who runs the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington. "They've done this right in front of our faces."

Iran has ignored four sets of UN Security Council resolutions since 2006 calling on it to cease enriching uranium. With the world's attention diverted by the Arab Spring, Tehran has pressed ahead, overcoming delays caused by Stuxnet, a mysterious computer worm that made centrifuges malfunction.
Greg Jones, a defence analyst at the Nonproliferation Policy Education Centre, calculates that Iran could now produce a bomb within 62 days.

"The assumption has always been that Iran would never actually get a nuclear weapon, because the West would have enough advance warning to prevent it either by diplomacy or force, but they've kept on pushing the envelope and getting away with it," he said.

A new report by the Bipartisan Policy Centre, a think tank set up by US senators, warns: "The Islamic Republic of Iran could be a de facto nuclear power before 2011 is over."

IAEA inspectors reported last weekend that Iran had installed its new centrifuges after evading Western attempts to block supplies of the special steel required.

These IR-2 centrifuges have replaced unreliable and antiquated machines.
The new ones, which Iran claims to have developed in its own laboratories, are more reliable, speeding up production.

"I'm very alarmed," said Nicholas Burns, the US former chief negotiator on Iran. "I've read many IAEA reports over the years and they are very carefully written by civil servants. This time they are clearly ringing the alarm bells."...MORE

*From his last speech to the IAEA Board of Governors, June 2009:
“the agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran."
In the meantime,
The AP via the Boston Globe:
Iran angry over killing of its nuclear scientists

and from NPR:
Security Expert: U.S. 'Leading Force' Behind Stuxnet

While Turkey's Premier weighs in (via the Tehran Times):
Sanctions on Iran based on presumptions unacceptable: Erdogan

This is not going to end well.