Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Iran could have enough enriched uranium for a nuke in a month – report

Iran may be able to amass sufficient weapons-grade uranium for an atomic bomb within a month, a new report warned Monday, as the Islamic Republic continues to ramp up its violations of the 2015 accord limiting its nuclear program for sanctions relief.

Critically, the estimate did not include the time it would take Iran to actually assemble a deliverable nuclear bomb — one that could be installed in a warhead on a ballistic missile — which would be far longer. Last month, the Israel Defense Forces assessed that the process would take at least several months and potentially up to a year.

The report released on Monday was written by experts from the Institute for Science and International Security, who examined a recent report by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, concerning Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Overall, the IAEA’s latest report shows Iran’s rapidly advancing nuclear activities and steps to limit IAEA monitoring, while inspectors have a diminishing ability to detect Iranian diversion of assets to undeclared facilities. The IAEA is sounding an alarm to the international community accordingly,” the report warned.

The experts, led by former UN nuclear inspector David Albright, noted Iran has continued to grow its stockpile of highly enriched uranium in recent months, predicting that in “a worst-case breakout estimate” Tehran could have enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon in a month.

After three months, the report said, Iran could have enough enriched uranium for two weapons; after five months, for three. READ MORE