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IAEA Report Sheds Light on Iran's Nuclear Progress, The Need for a Deal

World  (tags: politics, UnitedNations, unitednations, usa, violence, war, world, society, middle-east, humanrights, government, HumanRights, ethics, death, conflict, iran, 'HUMANRIGHTS!', 'CIVILLIBERTIES!' )

- 1860 days ago -
the IAEA has released its quarterly safeguards report providing the most recent data on Iran's nuclear progress. While the report does not suggest that a nuclear-armed Iran is either imminent or inevitable

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JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 11:11 am
IAEA Report Sheds Light on Iranís Nuclear Progress, The Need for a Deal
Laicie Heeley | Feb 21, 2013 | there are 0 comments 0
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano

Ahead of talks set to take place in Kazakhstan next week, the IAEA has released its quarterly safeguards report providing the most recent data on Iranís nuclear progress. While the report does not suggest that a nuclear-armed Iran is either imminent or inevitable, it illustrates Iranís steady progress and highlights the dangerous game of chicken the US and Iran are currently playing. The time for a diplomatic resolution has not yet expired, but the window of opportunity is getting smaller. The goal of the upcoming talks in Kazakhstan should be to put time back on the clock.

The IAEA largely confirms what the media has already reported, namely that Iran has installed additional IR-1 centrifuges at Natanz along with more advanced IR-2 centrifuges, the installation of which has just begun. The report states that 180 of the advanced centrifuges were either fully or partially mounted during a February 6 inspection, but does not state whether the centrifuges are connected. Iran has also continued to grow its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20%, but has taken steps to convert a large portion of that uranium for use as fuel in the Tehran Research Reactor.

According to the report, Iran has produced a total of 280 kg (+47 kg since the Director Generalís previous report) of 20% enriched uranium, of which 167 kg remains in that form. Approximately 111 kg has been converted. Experts believe that approximately 250 kg of 20% enriched uranium is required to produce, via further enrichment, one bombís worth of weapons-grade uranium.

By resuming the conversion of its uranium to fuel plates, Iran has not yet crossed the critical point at which it would have enough 20% enriched uranium for one bomb, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuís stated red line. Despite some walking back of his earlier statements, Netanyahuís office today expressed concern, stating that the report's findings "prove that Iran continues to advance quickly to the red line" and that, "Iran is closer than ever to achieve enrichment for a nuclear bomb." However, in taking steps to limit its stockpile, Tehran seems to be demonstrating its reluctance to dash past any perceived red line, at least at this time.

Additionally, two new pieces of information are of note. The first is the speed with which Iran has continued to install IR-1 centrifuges at Natanz, which is faster than expected, and the second is Iranís use of the Tehran Research Reactor to test fuel for a heavy water reactor at Arak that could eventually be used to produce plutonium. Heavy water reactors produce spent fuel that is more suitable for extracting plutonium for weapons than light water reactors.

Reports of Iranís centrifuge expansion at Natanz imply that the country intends to continue to install additional centrifuges at a rate similar to that noted by the IAEA, thereby increasing the speed with which it can enrich uranium. This implication is buttressed by recent reports that Iran attempted to purchase 100,000 highly specialized magnets that can be used to construct centrifuges (in theory, enough to outfit 50,000 additional machines, though the report has been refuted by some reputable sources). Importantly, however, it is still unclear whether Iranís leaders have made the political decision to acquire a nuclear bomb. Current US intelligence states that they have not.

Moreover, Iranís use of the Tehran Research Reactor to test fuel for its IR-40 reactor at Arak is troubling. The heavy water reactor, the spent fuel from which could be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, has been of concern for some time, prompting the United Nations Security Council to demand that Tehran discontinue construction of the reactor. Experts believe that Iran could achieve ďbreak outĒ capacity, or the ability to quickly build a bomb, by mid-2014 if it so chooses. However, plutonium provides a second option for the construction of a bomb. Iran has stated that it plans to start up the Arak reactor in the first quarter of 2014. Though Iran is unlikely to go down this path to a weapon, particularly given the fact that the facility at Arak is more vulnerable to attack than Iranís uranium enrichment facilities, it could see the reactor as an additional bargaining chip in ongoing negotiations.

Iranís apparent dual-hatted strategy of limiting its production of 20% enriched uranium yet installing more advanced centrifuges mirrors the strategy of the US and its international partners, who have continued to increase sanctions and threaten the use of military force whilst also offering to strike a deal. For some time now, the two sides have been engaged in a dangerous game of chicken, waiting for the other to blink. But as the sides come closer and closer to colliding, the likelihood of a crash is growing. Both sides must come to the table in Kazakhstan willing to seek a solution that holds calamity at bay.

Craig Zimmerman (86)
Friday March 15, 2013, 11:15 am
Iran is controlled by fanatics that will not abide by any agreement.

JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 11:44 am
That could be the perspective many have of all the other parties too, Craig--especially the US and it's choices in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan/

Kit B (276)
Friday March 15, 2013, 1:10 pm

Neither Iran nor North Korea possess or will in any foreseeable future, the shear numbers of NUKES to be a real danger to the US. We could swat them like a fly, they know this and we know this. Though each leader is doing their best impression of a peacock, both are well aware that should they dare make a move with nuclear weapons those in the Pentagon would not hesitate to turn both into a wasteland. That is ugly to say, but we know it is the facts.

Even fanatics know when they are up against a much superior power. Can they cause trouble, sure.

JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 1:28 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Terry V (30)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:40 pm
noted, thanks

JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:51 pm
You are welcome Terry

Past Member (0)
Friday March 15, 2013, 2:53 pm
noted thanks

Angelika R (143)
Friday March 15, 2013, 3:02 pm
Netanyahu should take his "red line" and hang it out his toilet window!
This says pretty much what my Reuters post also says. Let's wait and see what the Almaty talks will come up with. And WHAT could anyone do with ONE BOMB-even IF they would ever build one-whih is AGAINST their Islamic belief and they have stated this several times before.
Thx JL

Angelika R (143)
Friday March 15, 2013, 3:04 pm
Kit said it very well-a PEACOCK boasting, mainly directed at and to impress their OWN PEOPLE-and likely themselves as well.

Angelika R (143)
Friday March 15, 2013, 3:07 pm
As for not obiding agreements-or even UN RESOLUTIONS and things such as signing the NNPT-we sure know of others that lead the charts in this disipline.

JL A (281)
Friday March 15, 2013, 3:10 pm
You are welcome Carol and Angelika.
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last day.

Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 5:15 am
I don't believe a word their crazy leader says, but still am confused about what to do about the situation and how serious it really is.

Gloria picchetti (304)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 7:55 am
Thank G-d #43 is not POTUS! If he were we would be in a third war.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 8:07 am
You cannot currently send a star to Giana because you have done so within the last day.

. (0)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 10:15 am
How can you talk honestly to a country that simply distorts the truth, and out and out lies?

JL A (281)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 10:18 am
Yes, they will have trouble dealing with the US Allan, but they will still try.

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 1:30 pm
Noted. Thanks, Cal. There's a petition to sign at that I believe could head all this off at the pass.

James Maynard (84)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 2:00 pm
Gloria, you can also thank that Mssrs. Romney
and Ryan are not in the Oval Office as they
were quite clearly saber rattling during their
Lois, thanks for pointing out the GlobalZero link.
Thanks also to Cal for posting this informative

Phil P (94)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 3:09 pm
Nobody thought Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot could be/would be responsible for the deaths of millions and these guys were not religious fanatics of the type we have ruling in Iran. Who knows what horrors this nut jobs are capable of when it is the will of Allah that guides them. While I have no idea what the mega-ton equivalent is of 250 Kg of enriched uranium, I would guess it would leave a very late hole in Israel. The Hiroshima bomb was what 64 kg of highly enriched material. And as far as collateral damage to the surrounding Palastians and other Arab nations go, well that's unfortunate but necessary for the greater good as that is the will of Allah as well.

Perhaps a little more convincing saber rattling may be in order to deter them from their desired path before we find ourselves and or Israeli allies with radioactive eggs in our faces. The same goes for the pip squeak North Korea.

Birgit W (160)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 4:51 pm

Lee Hampton (15)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 5:26 pm

See no evil

Hear no evil

Speak no evil


Past Member (0)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 5:30 pm
everything nuclear that creates radiation and potential harm needs to be removed from this planet now.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 5:32 pm
Thank you JL for sharing the article. It seems many of the world's leaders are locked into a game of chicken: Israel,, Iran, North Korea, South Korea, India, Pakistan, and our very own Republicans and Democrats. What I want to know is when will the adults in the world come together to solve the pressing issues of climate change and poverty?! Thank you all for the comments and discussions! (Noted)

JL A (281)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 5:34 pm
You are welcome Bryna. You cannot currently send a star to Bryna because you have done so within the last day.

. (0)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 8:22 pm
Great article.

JL A (281)
Saturday March 16, 2013, 8:26 pm
Thanks Laura

Phil P (94)
Sunday March 17, 2013, 5:19 am
Thanks for the Star on the Iran article. Always appreciated. Keep up the great work and making a difference.


Past Member (0)
Sunday March 17, 2013, 5:49 am
Yvette T, does that include sunlight? Good article.

JL A (281)
Sunday March 17, 2013, 7:46 am
You cannot currently send a star to Phil because you have done so within the last day.

Lynn Squance (235)
Sunday March 17, 2013, 9:55 pm
My mother always said it takes at least two to tangle. Iran does not bother me so much as Israel, the US and North Korea do. It is the reactions of the US and especially Israel --- their willingness for 1st strike (not necessarily a nuclear strike), that concern me, because if that happens, there will be radiation from Iran's plants. The effects of radiation will be world wide on the winds.

As far as N Korea is concern, in the news yesterday, while they have missiles that can hit the US, attacking the missile launch sites would be problematic because they are mobile and therefore harder to target. Apparently, these missiles do not yet have nuclear capabilities, but even with conventional payloads, they will do some damage.

Both India and Pakistan have had nuclear weapons for years and have not used them. But with any country, the US included, all it takes is one madman with his finger on the "red button" and the whole world will be plunged into a darkness of the soul.
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