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Iran aims for weapons-grade uranium

Posted By Reza Kahlili On 07/18/2012 @ 8:54 pm In Front Page,World | No Comments

Iran is claiming that it has the right under international law to enrich uranium to the 90 percent level to provide fuel for nuclear-powered submarines and ships, and under the rules of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, that would be regarded as being for peaceful purposes.

But that also is the level needed to create nuclear weapons.

Despite severe sanctions by the United Nations, United States and the European Union, Iran continues its illicit nuclear program at both its Natanz and the Fordow facilities, increasing both the number of centrifuges and the output, and it now has enough enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs, if further enriched.

Iran, which had been limited to an enrichment under 5 percent for its nuclear power plant, broke out to the 20 percent level, claiming it was needed for its medical research reactor. Further enriching from 20 percent to weaponization would only take four to six weeks.

In a commentary yesterday on the Iranian news outlet IranNuc.ir, which has quoted several Iranian authorities this year on the republic’s nuclear program, Mohammad Sadri emphasized that Iran is on its way to nuclear weaponization grade.

“Two weeks after the news by Iran on its readiness to prepare nuclear fuel for use in ships and submarines, it has just now caught the attention of the media and the authorities in the West,” Sadri said.

Sixteen days ago, Ali Abbaspour, the spokesman for the Industries and Mine Committee of the regime’s parliament, revealed plans for higher enrichment to provide nuclear fuel for the Iranian navy.

At the same time, the Iranian navy’s commander, Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, announced that new warships, destroyers and submarines built in Iran will soon be delivered to the navy.

“The significance of this announcement is that it coincided with the increased sanctions against Iran’s central bank and oil industry by the Europeans on July 1,” Sadri said.

In quoting The Associated Press, Sadri said that the fuel needed for nuclear-powered submarines and ships is uranium enriched to 90 percent. Only a few countries, including America, Russia, France, England and China, have that capability.

However, “(Nuclear) technicians in Tehran say that despite what the report says, the nuclear-powered submarines do not necessarily need fuel enriched to 90 percent. An enrichment level of 52 to 57 percent will do,” Sadri said.

Sadri emphasized these points:

  • In order to provide nuclear fuel for ships and submarines, Iran must enrich above the 20 percent level. More significantly, Iran has the right under the NPT to enrich to whatever level as long as it is for peaceful purposes.
  • This news shows Iran is reacting to recent sanctions by Europe and America on the technical front.
  • The action is based on a recent letter sent by Saeed Jalili, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, to Catherine Ashton, the high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy for the European Commission. The letter emphasized that the European Union will be responsible for Iran’s reactions to the sanctions.

Iranian officials often make such statements after they have achieved their secret objectives, such as the revelation of the Natanz nuclear facility when it was fully operational. Likewise the previously secret nuclear facility at Fordow, built deep into a mountain and announced by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after it was completed.

Also the announcement on enriching uranium to 20 the percent level.

“The Iranian claim to enrich further to provide nuclear fuel to nuclear-powered vessels makes no sense. One has to first build these types of vessels, which would take years, then enrich to a higher level, as enriched material deteriorates throughout the time,” said Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, who directs the Task Force on National and Homeland Security. “I think Iranians are making this public announcement to warn America, as it builds up its military posture in the Gulf, that they have made a political decision to make the bomb, as enriching to over 50 percent would significantly reduce the time for reaching bomb grade.”

A former Revolutionary Guards official who has now defected to a country in Europe said that Iran has other secret nuclear sites not known by the West where scientists are working on the nuclear bomb project.

Reza Kahlili translated this Iranian video about Islamic prophecies of a coming messiah and the destruction of Israel:


Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award-winning book, “A Time to Betray.” He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America, a member of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).


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