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The Truth About Iran's Ability to Enrich for a Nuclear Weapon

Updated on November 29, 2013
The process to a bomb
The process to a bomb
Israel was telling the truth
Israel was telling the truth
iran's centrifuges
iran's centrifuges

There are several non-enrichment reasons why the US-Iran treaty is a facade. Iran is now recognized as a new "world power" because all of the other world powers had agreed that Iran as a right to enrich uranium.

Enriching can be done either by using Iran's 18,000 centrifuges, which spin to separate the ore, or, using a more difficult process using heavy-water for plutonium. So, immediately, one must ask, why is Iran pursuing both methods to enrichment? The heavy water plant at Arak continues to be built under the treaty.

Under the treaty, Iran can enrich to 5% for its nuclear power plants and they have. Iran has also enriched to 20%, which is not needed in civilian use unless pursuing a nuclear weapon. Under the treaty, the stocks already there will be reduced to oxide or diluted back down to 5%. The centrifuges used to create the 20% levels will be disconnected. Just how will the inspectors determine the stocks have been reduced and whether the stocks being looked at are ALL there? One can see that when inspectors arrive to see the disconnected centrifuges how Iran will reconnect them after they leave. It is meaningless unless the centrifuges are removed or destroyed.

How much will the treaty delay Iran's quest for a nuclear bomb?

The experts agree that Iran could still enrich to 90% for a nuclear bomb within weeks to a month if they wanted to, and of course, they do. The most difficult part of enrichment is NOT reaching the 90% level, but the 5% because uranium ore contains only .7% of fissile material. So, once ore is enriched to 5%, which Iran is still allowed to do under this "treaty", it is 75% complete of the 90% required. Or, in another way, Iran only needs to enrich to another 15%, which is far easier to do and faster.

I hope you understand this. It is easy to get confused.

So, Iran has 18,000 centrifuges, mostly older models that are slower and not as effective and about 1000 new, faster ones. These are almost four times as fast. Iran states they have not been installed or connected. The scary thing is that Iran, using only 3000 of the old models, running 24\7, could enrich the 15% remaining ore to 90% levels (weapon grade) in two months or so. If they devoted all 16,000 of them to this process, the time is in a month. If the 1000 of the new centrifuges are used, only weeks.

The new treaty does not require Iran to dismantle or remove any of them but they have to stop enriching to 20% and dilute whatever uranium already at that level back down to 5%. This amount is at 200 kg according to some experts. Other experts think Iran has 400 kg enriched to 20% and a few think Iran already has enough at 90% for 1-3 bombs. In other words, the experts really do not know what Iran has enriched.

It takes 240 kg for a nuclear bomb.

As you can see, Iran really has not agreed to much and is being allowed to access up to $6 billion in assets frozen under the sanctions to help its economy. There is no telling what Iran will do with the money. Yet, there is worse. None of the agreed terms to the treaty are in effect yet because the six month window of "trust" has not begun or agreed upon. More meetings need to occur. Meetings Iran can delay so they can continue to enrich another 15%.

Nothing really can be verified 100% by this treaty. Iran is buying time because it only needs a few more months but its economic situation is very bad, now President Obama and the P5 have rescued Iran.

For Iran,it's a win-win situation.


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    • profile image

      Jayfort 4 years ago

      MB Singh - that's being kind of harsh on Gorbachev!

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      Iran is not a world power. Iranians have been poor fighters. They could not even beat Iraq in years of fighting. The USA could have easily taken out Iran despite Russian support. Obama has let the free world down. I maintain he is the Gorbachev of America.

    • profile image

      Jayfort 4 years ago

      Iran has also spent significant time and money on developing their ballistic missiles, extending their range and payload capacity time after time. The country of Israel and many American assets in the Middle East are now within range of Iranian missiles. What would it take for them to attach a nuclear weapon to one of their missiles and launch it at Israel? The Iranian Government has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel. They are funding and supplying proxy wars with Israel through other Middle Eastern countries.