• EXCLUSIVE: Iran Could Potentially Produce Enough Weapons-Grade Uranium To Create 7 Nuclear Weapons Within 3 Months

    March 9, 2023
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    Last week, Undersecretary of Defense Colin Kahl, testified before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee that Iran could produce enough weapons-grade uranium to make a nuclear bomb in "about 12 days."

    Ali Safavi, who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), stated that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed that Iran is, in fact, capable of producing enough weapons-grade enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon in "just 12 days."

    According to Safavi, in order to produce one nuclear warhead, Iran would only have to utilize 3 advanced centrifuge cascades and only half of its existing supply of 60 percent enriched uranium, leaving plenty of uranium for additional weapons.

    If Iran were to utilize its remaining 60 percent enriched uranium, combined with its stock of uranium that is 20 percent enriched, the country would have enough weapons-grade uranium to build 4 additional atomic warheads within a month.

    Iran also maintains stocks of 5 percent enriched uranium and could produce two more weapons' worth of enriched uranium from that stockpile in 2 months.

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    Overall, Iran has enough enriched uranium to potentially build 7 nuclear weapons within 3 months.

    "The urgency of addressing the imminent threat posed by Iran's nuclear program cannot be overstated," Safavi said. "With the regime's unwavering determination to obtain a nuclear weapon, the recent internal unrest within Iran, which has weakened the regime even further, may only serve to further motivate them towards this goal," Safavi added.

    Additionally, on January 22, the IAEA also discovered uranium particles enriched to 83.7 percent during a monthly interim verification at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant. The IAEA has not been satisfied with Iran's explanation for the highly enriched material and is still conducting a probe for more credible answers.

    While it takes far more than just enriched uranium to produce an atomic weapon, Iran's Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND) has been operating under the Iranian Ministry of Defense to develop all the necessary components of a nuclear warhead for the past 30 years. Such components include enriched uranium material, an explosion mechanism, and a launching device - like the Shehab 3 missile.

    Despite prior setbacks, including the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi, who was the head of SPND for several years, the organization is still operational and continues its efforts to build a nuclear weapon for Iran.

    While Iran appears to have built all or most of the components for a nuclear warhead, the detonation mechanism requires testing before it can be used as part of a weapon, and it is currently unclear as to whether or not the regime has completed the necessary testing of the mechanism, as such, it is unclear what Iran's timeline for the creation of an operational nuclear warhead might be.

    What is certain, though, is that Iran has more than enough enriched uranium and the centrifuge facilities to create multiple nuclear weapons once all of the components have been developed and tested.

    Safavi expressed a need for urgency on the part of the United States and Europe to condemn Iran's nuclear program and activate Article 6 of the Security Council resolution to enforce sanctions against the country.

    "To prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, decisive action is paramount. The international community must prioritize this policy of decisiveness and remain steadfast in their efforts," Safavi said.

    "Article 6 of the Security Council resolution and the practical implementation of sanctions must be enforced without waiver, as failure to do so could have dire consequences for regional and global peace and security," Safavi concluded.

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    Author

    Jen Snow

    Jen Snow is a former paralegal turned freelance writer who has a passion for foreign affairs. When not writing, she can be found curled up with her dog and a good book or outside playing in the Florida sun.
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