Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Iranian uranium enrichment centrifuges

An agreement that limits the number of centrifuges Iran can possess makes them useless for nuclear energy but very useful for producing a nuclear weapon, according to a former CIA director who now is an analyst for CBS. Michael Morell said on Charlie Rose:

If you are going to have a nuclear weapons program, 5,000 is pretty much the number you need. If you have a power program, you need a lot more. By limiting them to a small number of centrifuges, we are limiting them to the number you need for a weapon.”

Iran has about 19,000 centrifuges, 10,000 of which are operating. The Obama administration’s proposal for a deal with Iran reportedly offered to let Iran enrich uranium with around 6,500 centrifuges. The Obama administration has countered the numbers, some of which are supplied by the Netanyahu administration, by arguing that the type and size of centrifuges are no less important than the number when it comes to enriching uranium.


President Barack Obama thinks that he can negotiate a deal that will keep Iran from making a nuclear weapon for two decades. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says Iran simply is buying time, cannot be trusted to honor any agreement, and that any deal to which it agrees will be a “bad deal.”

Obama supposedly wants to cut the number of centrifuges to approximately 5,000, which Morrell said is enough to produce a nuclear weapon.

PunditFact verified Morell’s claim with several experts, including Georgetown Associate Prof. Matthew Kroenig, who has little faith that Iran will honor any agreement; Arms Control Association official Daryl Kimball; David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security; and Harvard Prof. Matthew Bunn. Bunn told PunditFact:

People think surely you must need a bigger enrichment system to make 90 percent enriched material for bombs than to make 4-5 percent enriched material for power reactors. But exactly the opposite is true. A nuclear reactor, which Iran claims it is building for peaceful purposes, requires tons of uranium. A nuclear bomb can be produced with only 50 pounds of highly enriched uranium.

Bunn explained that producing low-grade uranium makes it possible to produce the enriched stuff, even though it is harder.

That is why Netanyahu told the United Nations three years ago Iran must be allowed zero percent uranium. Once Iran has 5 percent grade uranium, “you’ve already done more than 2/3 of the work of going all the way to 90 percent U-235 for weapons,”

Bunn said. “So the amount of work needed to make bomb material is only a modest amount more per kilogram, and the number of kilograms you need for bombs is 1,000 times less.”

Kimball is more dovish than Kroenig and thinks that since it would take Iran a year to produce enough enriched uranium for one bomb, “That would give you enough time to detect that activity.”

That means the deal, if one is made, comes down to inspections, something which Iran has circumvented for years. Either it allows inspections after removing evidence that its nuclear development is aimed at building a nuclear weapon, or it simply allows them after it has moved its operations to another unknown facility.

The National Coalition of Resistance of Iran insists that the Iranian regime has systematically lied to United Nations nuclear inspectors and has built and is running a secret “Lavizan-3” underground enrichment operation near Tehran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a report last week that was obtained by Reuters and the Associated Press, stated that Iran is living up to its commitment to reduce enrichment activities but did not erase suspicions that it is carrying out research for making a nuclear bomb. The IAEA report said:

Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures.

Obama apparently thinks Iran can be trusted, and that is why he is so incensed that Netanyahu is trying to convince Americans that the president is letting himself be conned – again.


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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


  1. general picture in few sentences. Excuse the superficiality, but today nobody has the patience for reading long messages.

    The vast majority of the American citizens supports the policy of Netanyahu. Plenty of American citizens, many who are not even Jews, are getting out of their way to strengthen Israel and to cause an enormous public buzz of support in Netanyahu.

    It’s the same in most of European states.

    In the Arab states: their citizens are the first to be slaughtered, and they are no less than wretched crying out for help. The same is with most Arab leaders who express not only support in Netanyahu’s policy – but also concrete suggestion on how to team up with Netanyahu in order to lead a joint process. Even the Arabs of Gaza and Ramallah are being butchered, and implore that someone would initiate their rescuing from the terror movements which rule them.

    It is only a tiny minority of Leftist parties leaders, from all over the world, which influences the global media, which rules through loads of money, a lot of power and lots and lots of noise in the public-dialogue and in the global public-awareness.
    That is exactly how a tiny minority of Muslims succeeds to rule the world through terror and through existential threats over entire ethnic groups and entire populations around the world.

    In the terminology of the tiny minority of leftist leaders in our world, this phenomenon is named “The Muslim Spring”.

    There is a sweeping support from citizens of all the countries for ending that “Spring”.

    Benjamin Netanyahu is the pioneer among world’s leaders and the spearhead of the international front. For over a decade he deals against the nuclear issue and the spreading terror. Most world leaders (apart from that tiny minority of imperious leftists) support Netanyahu and reinforce him to continue to act and to continue to lead this complicated and sensitive battle, before everything blows up.

    The crucial majority of mankind prefers to overthrow the dictatorial minority, which by violence and by propaganda gains control over all of us – and which is uninterested of the opposite.

    We are now at the eleventh hour: either to defeat the violent minority – or the violent minority would defeat us.

    Support Netanyahu for Premiership.

    Don’t take any chance.

  2. This is a true disaster, Iran has repeatedly lied over the years and got caught red handed, "O" has repeatedly lied over the years…we have an agreement between two world class liars & Israel is told, "hey, you can surely trust us, would we hurt you"???

  3. This is true and they are not even needed for nuclear power. Ask Canada. Really it’s a fact. The deal Obama wants to make with Iran will leave them 30! days from launching a bomb. They already have the long range ballistic missiles which by the way they threaten to use every day on America and Israel. This deal is a political Joke from Obama. It gets even worse but you all know more in a few days when Netanyahu’s speech is made. Even then you won’t know everything the most treasonous President in American history has done to his people!

  4. we need to deal with reality Iran already HAS NUKES!!.
    a few million bucks her and there is pittance to them.
    we already know russia sells to the highest bidder.
    and theres other middle east countries that are palsy
    walsy with them.
    infact all of them are buddy buddy with iran .
    no more head in the sand they have them already .

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