web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Yet Another Reminder: Iran Still Closing in on Bomb

Iran could produce enough high-enriched uranium (HEU) for a first nuclear warhead in as little as two weeks.
Rouhani-stranglovebombride

Share Button

So, who’s up for another round of graphs showing that Western diplomacy, sanctions, and technology have yet to out-maneuver Iran in the mullahs’ push for a bomb?

A long-time IAEA expert, Olli Heinonen, predicted this past week that, using her newer, advanced centrifuges, Iran could produce enough high-enriched uranium (HEU) for a first nuclear warhead in as little as two weeks from making the decision to go for the “breakout.”  (See here also.)

For clarity, this does not mean Iran is “two weeks from a bomb.”  It means that once Iran decides to take the final enrichment step, it could take as little as two weeks to bring enough of her current stock of 19.75-percent-enriched uranium to HEU purity, or above 90 percent.  That estimate shortens the already brief month or so projected by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), one of the chief think tanks tracking Iran’s nuclear progress.  (The longer projection assumes Iran would use the older centrifuges that form the backbone of her current mass-scale enrichment effort.)

When might Iran make the “breakout” decision?  We don’t know.  We do know that the three graphs below, which bring us up to date on Iran’s enrichment activities, are bracketed by intelligence on Iran’s nuclear-weapons and missile programs.  Let’s review it briefly.

As early as 2004, the U.S. had intelligence indicating Iran had worked with designs for an implosion-type nuclear warhead, and had probably done high-explosive testing for a detonation device at Parchin, southeast of Tehran, in the early 2000s.  Additional intelligence at the time indicated design studies for fitting a nuclear warhead on a Shahab-III type medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM).

As early as 2006, Western analysts identified an underground missile-silo complex being constructed at Tabriz.  Construction began at least as early as 2003, but may have started even earlier, in the 1990s.  (See pp. 28-30 of this Congressional Research Service report from 2012.)

Recent campaign statements by new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator from 2003-2005, indicate that Iran’s installation and use of centrifuges for uranium enrichment were much more extensive and advanced during that period than the UN’s IAEA monitoring agency knew.  In fact, IAEA’s knowledge appears to have been at least two years behind the timeline laid out by Rouhani.  This should give us pause in viewing all subsequent assessments, including the ones reflected in the graphs below, which derive their information from IAEA inspections.

Rouhani has made a point of boasting that slow-rolling the West in nuclear negotiations was the key to buying time for Iran to violate UN sanctions and deceive the UN.  (See the interview summarized here for another take by Rouhani on the same theme.)

During the period reflected in the graphs below, Iran has advanced her satellite program, including a first space launch in 2009, with potential rocketry applications for achieving an ICBM capability.  Also in 2009, Iran conducted her first launch of a solid-fuel MRBM, an advance that allows her to keep such missiles – which can range Europe and Central Asia as well as the entire Middle East – in a constantly ready status.  (Liquid-fuel missiles have to be fueled just before launch, adding to their response time.)

In May 2011, British intelligence reported that Iran had conducted three secret tests of nuclear-capable MRBMs in 2010 and 2011 (see pp. 32-33 of the CRS report linked above).  The implication is that these attempts tested the missiles in question with a payload like a nuclear warhead – that being the purpose, as opposed to testing for range with these launches.  Assuming the UK intelligence is valid, these launches would mark the first known live testing of Iranian MRBMs with simulated nuclear-warhead payloads.

In August 2013, Western analysts reported identifying a probable new ICBM test site at Shahrud in northeastern Iran (see here as well).

iran-grafs-1

We now turn to the graphs, which show Iran’s progress with enriching uranium since 2007.  The original graphs were produced by ISIS in its continuing series of analyses performed on the IAEA’s inspection and monitoring reports.  The most recent IAEA report was published on 28 August 2013.  The ISIS analysis is here.

Share Button

About the Author: J.E. Dyer is a retired US Naval intelligence officer who served around the world, afloat and ashore, from 1983 to 2004.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

4 Responses to “Yet Another Reminder: Iran Still Closing in on Bomb”

  1. Daniel Cozza says:

    Just horse for him.

  2. Arty Cohn says:

    All of these graphs and conclusions are speculative. They are based on the assumption, that until now and in the immediate future, all of Iran's centrifuges will be used to concentrate U235 to only the 19.75% level. And only when they have a large enough trove of 19.75% U235, will they then use the centrifuges to concentrate the U235 to the 90+% level need for an N-bomb. I don't think that the Iranians are foolish and incompetent. It seems more likely to me that the Iranians would already have taken some of their 19.75% U235 and concentrated it further to the 90+% for a few N-bombs, or missile warheads. Having these bombs and/or warheads will greatly deter any country from attacking Iran.

  3. J.e. Dyer says:

    Actually, Arty Cohn, the graphs are the precise opposite of speculative. They are based on what the IAEA knows: no more and no less. But I think I take your point about what the graphs DON'T show, which is that Iran could have enriched uranium to HEU purity already, without our having knowledge of it. Iran could have more enriched uranium than these graphs indicate. Both of those propositions are valid. I've written on that topic before. Considering that IAEA's knowledge of Iran's centrifuge operations was more than 2 years out of date in the 2005-7 timeframe, we should not assume that what's in the graphs reflects reality. It reflects only the reality we're aware of; the reality we're not aware of could be much worse.

  4. Gary Cordie says:

    Maybe they will drop it on mecca

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.
Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers
Latest Indepth Stories
Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

Dov Shurin

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

Perhaps worse than all the above is the acute lack of unity among Jews

At our seder we emulate the way it was celebrated in Temple times, as if the Temple still stood.

More Articles from J. E. Dyer
Senator Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz (R-TX).

It would be so catastrophic to not increase the debt ceiling that Senators must have the option of avoiding the people’s scrutiny.

Rouhani-stranglovebombride

Iran could produce enough high-enriched uranium (HEU) for a first nuclear warhead in as little as two weeks.

We are in uncharted territory today. The answers for the GOP going forward may not be found in the events of the past.

Each and every permutation of artificial “fertility” will wind up in court at some point.

He gets that we can’t just sit still, paralyzed by bad press and Democratic talking points.

Obama’s supporters in the media (and no doubt in Hollywood, politics, and the academy) see a light at the end of this tunnel…

I’m skeptical that we have any intention of taking action against Syria – even punitive action, with no view to an outcome or end-state.

Liberty always – always – has to be deliberately established and hedged about with protections.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/yet-another-reminder-iran-still-closing-in-on-bomb/2013/11/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: