Iran Only A Few Weeks Away From Producing Nuclear Bomb Uranium
If Iran breaks its deal with the West tomorrow, the country would be only two to three weeks away from producing enough highly enriched uranium to assemble a nuclear weapon, according to Olli Heinonen, former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Heinonen directed the safeguards division of the United Nations body charged with enforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
He was asked Sunday on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on WABC Radio about the timeframe in response to statements from Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, who boasted last week that Tehran can nix its deal with the West and resume enriching uranium to 20-percent levels within one day if it so desires.
Heinonen responded that it would take Iran “two, three weeks to have enough uranium hexafluoride high-enriched for one single weapon.”
Continued the former IAEA director: “If they [back out of the deal], which they can technically do, it will take certainly a little bit more than one night to do. But then once they have sorted it out, it would take about two, three weeks.”
Heinonen explained that as time elapses and Iran converts more of its 20-percent enriched uranium to five percent, as is required by the U.S.-backed deal, the two to three week timeframe to produce a nuclear weapon will expand.
He said that if Iran keeps its side of the deal, in six months from now “it will take at least three months” more to enrich enough uranium to assemble a nuclear weapon.
Is U.S. Using Yaalon’s Comments To Induce A Diplomatic Crisis?
In response to outrage from the U.S. over comments made by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Israeli diplomatic sources here said they are aware of statements that are “far worse” uttered by Obama administration officials against Israeli leaders, including remarks attacking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Some of the sources accused the U.S. of focusing on Yaalon’s statements to deliberately prompt a diplomatic crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations.
Earlier in the week, Israel’s Yedioth Aharonot daily reported on remarks allegedly made by Yaalon in private to associates. The unsourced report quoted Yaalon blasting Secretary of State John Kerry as “inexplicably obsessive” and “messianic” in his efforts to achieve a Palestinian state.
Yaalon reportedly told associates that Kerry has “nothing to teach me about the conflict with the Palestinians.” Yaalon was said to have criticized Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian plan as “not worth the paper it is printed on,” charging it will harm Israel’s security. The comments reportedly caused a diplomatic row with the State Department and White House.
But Israeli diplomatic sources speaking to this column wondered why the U.S. was focusing on Yaalon’s alleged private comments. They said U.S. allies in the Middle East, including the official state-run Palestinian media, routinely release anti-American sentiment.
The sources said they are aware of “far worse” even “shock” comments made by U.S. officials against Israeli leaders, including the prime minister.
Turkey Raids Offices Of Mavi Marmara Flotilla Sponsor
Turkish security forces last week raided the offices of the group that sponsored the infamous Mavi Marmara flotilla that attempted to aid the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in 2010 and engaged in violent clashes with Israeli soldiers.
The U.S. contingent of the Gaza flotilla counts friends and associates of President Obama among its leaders, including the founders of the Weather Underground terrorist organization, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and Jodie Evans, a founder of the radical activist organization Code Pink.
Earlier this week, Turkish forces stormed the offices of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or IHH, as part of an Al Qaeda probe in which 25 terrorist suspects were arrested. A relief worker from IHH was among those detained. IHH computers and documents reportedly were seized.