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March 24, 2006

IAEA: Iran's Nuclear Program More Advanced Than Previously Thought

Topics: Iran

airan.jpg Vital Perspectives via Regime Change Iran is reporting that their sources have informed them that the IAEA is urgently warning of the need to reassess the timeline on Iran's nuclear program in light of the following:

1. Iran has assembled and is possibly already operating the 164-centrifuge cascade
2. Iran has moved canisters of UF6 to the cascade site
3. Iran has indicated its intention to operate the cascade over a two-to-three week period, and if successful, to move towards assembly of a 3,000 centrifuge unit.

Apparently, 3,000 centrifuges could produce enough highly-enriched uranium for a bomb. The IAEA has apparently also expressed alarm over Iran's technological capabilities, which are more developed then previously assumed, and its willingness to skip phases in the enrichment process.

As Vital Perspective points out, the pace of diplomacy is not keeping up with Iran's accelerated push to develop nuclear weapons, which is happening as the Russians (and Chinese) continue stalling despite repeated attempts by the U.S., Britain and France to soften the Security Council proposals in an effort to reach consensus.

However, the Guardian is reporting (also via RCI)that according to diplomats, the Iranians are in the process of achieving a "technological leap" by making operational a cascade of 164 centrifuges to enrich uranium for power plants or warheads. A fortnight ago they were known to have assembled only 34 centrifuges. They are believed to be rushing to assemble dozens more at a time when western negotiations with Tehran have collapsed and big power attempts to develop a coherent policy are deadlocked.

AS to the diffence in centrifuge numbers between the two above sources, I'm not sure which one to be the right info. However, the point of Iran stalling by using "friends" much as Saddam previously did with the UN, France, Russia, and Germany, now in the case of Iran being Russia and China, all while going full steam ahead on weapons, is the real issue.

So what's new about Iran cheating and stalling?

Vital Perspectives has more...

Related (hat tip - Vital Perspectives): The Forgotten Threat: Iran's Chemical and Biological Weapons Program

And let's not forget The Iran-Cuba Axis.

Posted by Richard at March 24, 2006 2:21 PM

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