T Nation

Iran now has Uranium for one A Bomb

Remember when Biden said Obama will be tested within six months? This is what he was talking about.

Iran Said to Have Nuclear Fuel for One Weapon

By WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: November 19, 2008
Iran has now produced roughly enough nuclear material to make, with added purification, a single atom bomb, according to nuclear experts analyzing the latest report from global atomic inspectors.

The figures detailing Iran?s progress were contained in a routine update on Wednesday from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been conducting inspections of the country?s main nuclear plant at Natanz. The report concluded that as of early this month, Iran had made 630 kilograms, or about 1,390 pounds, of low-enriched uranium.

Several experts said that was enough for a bomb, but they cautioned that the milestone was mostly symbolic, because Iran would have to take additional steps. Not only would it have to breach its international agreements and kick out the inspectors, but it would also have to further purify the fuel and put it into a warhead design ? a technical advance that Western experts are unsure Iran has yet achieved.

?They clearly have enough material for a bomb,? said Richard L. Garwin, a top nuclear physicist who helped invent the hydrogen bomb and has advised Washington for decades. ?They know how to do the enrichment. Whether they know how to design a bomb, well, that?s another matter.?

Iran insists that it wants only to fuel reactors for nuclear power. But many Western nations, led by the United States, suspect that its real goal is to gain the ability to make nuclear weapons.

While some Iranian officials have threatened to bar inspectors in the past, the country has made no such moves, and many experts inside the Bush administration and the I.A.E.A. believe it will avoid the risk of attempting ?nuclear breakout? until it possessed a larger uranium supply.

Even so, for President-elect Barack Obama, the report underscores the magnitude of the problem that he will inherit Jan. 20: an Iranian nuclear program that has not only solved many technical problems of uranium enrichment, but that can also now credibly claim to possess enough material to make a weapon if negotiations with Europe and the United States break down.

American intelligence agencies have said Iran could make a bomb between 2009 and 2015. A national intelligence estimate made public late last year concluded that around the end of 2003, after long effort, Iran had halted work on an actual weapon. But enriching uranium, and obtaining enough material to build a weapon, is considered the most difficult part of the process.

Siegfried S. Hecker of Stanford University and a former director of the Los Alamos weapons laboratory said the growing size of the Iranian stockpile ?underscored that they are marching down the path to developing the nuclear weapons option.?

In the report to its board, the atomic agency said Iran?s main enrichment plant was now feeding uranium into about 3,800 centrifuges ? machines that spin incredibly fast to enrich the element into nuclear fuel. That count is the same as in the agency?s last quarterly report, in September.

Iran began installing the centrifuges in early 2007. But the new report?s total of 630 kilograms ? an increase of about 150 ? shows that Iran has been making progress in accumulating material to make nuclear fuel.

That uranium has been enriched to the low levels needed to fuel a nuclear reactor. To further purify it to the highly enriched state needed to fuel a nuclear warhead, Iran would have to reconfigure its centrifuges and do a couple months of additional processing, nuclear experts said.

?They have a weapon?s worth,? Thomas B. Cochran, a senior scientist in the nuclear program of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private group in Washington that tracks atomic arsenals, said in an interview.

He said the amount was suitable for a relatively advanced implosion-type weapon like the one dropped on Nagasaki. Its core, he added, would be about the size of a grapefruit. He said a cruder design would require about twice as much weapon-grade fuel.

?It?s a virtual milestone,? Dr. Cochran said of Iran?s stockpile. It is not an imminent threat, he added, because the further technical work to make fuel for a bomb would tip off inspectors, the United States and other powers about ?where they?re going.?

The agency?s report made no mention of the possible military implications of the size of Iran?s stockpile. And some experts said the milestone was still months away. In an analysis of the I.A.E.A. report, the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington, estimated that Iran had not yet reached the mark but would ?within a few months.? It added that other analysts estimated it might take as much as a year.

Whatever the exact date, it added, ?Iran is progressing? toward the ability to quickly make enough weapon-grade uranium for a warhead.

Peter D. Zimmerman, a physicist and former United States government arms scientist, cautioned that the Iranian stockpile fell slightly short of what international officials conservatively estimate as the minimum threatening amount of nuclear fuel.

?They?re very close,? he said of the Iranians in an interview. ?If it isn?t tomorrow, it?s soon,? probably a matter of months.

In its report, the I.A.E.A., which is based in Vienna, said Iran was working hard to roughly double its number of operating centrifuges.

A senior European diplomat close to the agency said Iran might have 6,000 centrifuges enriching uranium by the end of the year. The report also said Iran had said it intended to start installing another group of 3,000 centrifuges early next year.

The atomic energy agency said Iran was continuing to evade questions about its suspected work on nuclear warheads. In a separate report released Wednesday, the agency said, as expected, that it had found ambiguous traces of uranium at a suspected Syrian reactor site bombed by Israel last year.

?While it cannot be excluded that the building in question was intended for non-nuclear use,? the report said, the building?s features ?along with the connectivity of the site to adequate pumping capacity of cooling water, are similar to what may be found in connection with a reactor site.? Syria has said the uranium came from Israeli bombs.

Fun.

Only ONE bomb? Fucking lightweights.

Seriously, why Iran? I still don’t get it. Not too sure about this “we have to go to war with Iran” stuff.

Don’t worry. I’m sure Ahmedinejad doesn’t mean all that Jew stuff he says all the time.

Thought they weren’t going for the weapons side of things? Hm?

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
Don’t worry. I’m sure Ahmedinejad doesn’t mean all that Jew stuff he says all the time. [/quote]

He’s quite the comedian I hear. You should see the outtakes from his national speeches.

[quote]msd0060 wrote:
Thought they weren’t going for the weapons side of things? Hm?[/quote]

The most difficult part of weapons production or a civilian power program is producing fissile material. What they appear to be working on is a break out capability, where they have a stock pile of %5 Enriched Uranium that they could quickly enrich up to the %90 level needed for weapons.

It is just a matter of spinning the centrifuges a little longer they don’t need any new technology to do that.

A few years ago when the IAEA was going through a bunch of documents that the Iranians had given them about their nuclear program the IAEA found that some of the documents were a warhead design that they think came from A.Q. Khan. So the Iraians have had in their possession a working warhead design.

The Iranians also had a team that participated in the test the North Koreans did a few years ago. So the Iranians could be nuclear capable anytime now. Another thing to consider is oil traded at $49 a barrel today, the Iranians need $70 a barrel to meet their budget so will have to do something to get the price back up.

The Middle Eastern mind is very different than ours. They make outrageous claims to attempt intimidation. Most know its phony, in the ME.

Saddam was probably shocked when we actually believed him and went to war. “Don’t you know I was just bluffing, as always?” — probably his last words.

What would happen if America attacks Iran?

Or will we be sitting down for some persian tea and asking them to put away the uranium and let Israel take care of it?

Either way, I see suffering in store for the Iranian people.

[quote]Otep wrote:
What would happen if America attacks Iran?

Or will we be sitting down for some persian tea and asking them to put away the uranium and let Israel take care of it?

Either way, I see suffering in store for the Iranian people.[/quote]

I see suffering for the Jews. Funny, the population of Israel is up around 6 million.

Israel has enough for between 180 and 300.

Iran unfortunately may be just foolish enough to use the one bomb they have.

The response will be swift and overwhelming.

Iran does not have a bomb. Don’t equate the country with the people who run the military and government.

Sounds like a job for the Israelis, or the EU.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
PRCalDude wrote:
Don’t worry. I’m sure Ahmedinejad doesn’t mean all that Jew stuff he says all the time.

He’s quite the comedian I hear. You should see the outtakes from his national speeches.[/quote]

Oh like the death to america chants

This is what will happen:

If America steps in the world will hate us. If America does not step in the World will hate us. If we wait to help guess what the world will first hate us for waiting and then they will hate us for fighting a war that doesn’t concern us. Sound fair?

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
This is what will happen:

If America steps in the world will hate us. If America does not step in the World will hate us. If we wait to help guess what the world will first hate us for waiting and then they will hate us for fighting a war that doesn’t concern us. Sound fair?
[/quote]

Here is what you do.

You abandon all bases on foreign soil and let people sort it out for themselves. Phase them out over the next five years.

Cut military spending in half, eliminate federal income tax and when someone calls you to intervene somewhere tell them you are fucking busy making money.

In other words, act like China.

Noone hates China, except the Tibetians and they hardly count.

[quote]orion wrote:
usmccds423 wrote:
This is what will happen:

If America steps in the world will hate us. If America does not step in the World will hate us. If we wait to help guess what the world will first hate us for waiting and then they will hate us for fighting a war that doesn’t concern us. Sound fair?

Here is what you do.

You abandon all bases on foreign soil and let people sort it out for themselves. Phase them out over the next five years.

Cut military spending in half, eliminate federal income tax and when someone calls you to intervene somewhere tell them you are fucking busy making money.

In other words, act like China.

Noone hates China, except the Tibetians and they hardly count.

[/quote]

Yes but then we have to deal with radioactive clouds from these idiots.

[quote]orion wrote:
Noone hates China, except the Tibetians and they hardly count.
[/quote]

Many Americans have misdirected hatred toward China. They hate it for its nearly overnight success and the upstaging it has given their “Made in the USA” brand.

[quote]orion wrote:
usmccds423 wrote:
This is what will happen:

If America steps in the world will hate us. If America does not step in the World will hate us. If we wait to help guess what the world will first hate us for waiting and then they will hate us for fighting a war that doesn’t concern us. Sound fair?

Here is what you do.

You abandon all bases on foreign soil and let people sort it out for themselves. Phase them out over the next five years.

Cut military spending in half, eliminate federal income tax and when someone calls you to intervene somewhere tell them you are fucking busy making money.

In other words, act like China.

Noone hates China, except the Tibetians and they hardly count.

[/quote]

Actually a lot of the world dislikes China since their human rights are terrible. Also go to Japan and ask them how they feel about China.

Also we aren’t commies so we don’t just “want to make money” at least not all of us.

Why should we cut the military in half? Look at WWI and WWII. If another major conflict broke out we would have to spend double just to get back to full strength. You don’t thank the military for fighting a war for a decade by taking their jobs.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
orion wrote:
Noone hates China, except the Tibetians and they hardly count.

Many Americans have misdirected hatred toward China. They hate it for its nearly overnight success and the upstaging it has given their “Made in the USA” brand.[/quote]

Ya when you pay your employee/sweat shop workers 5 cents an hour it’s easy to make a profit.