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Sunday, April 8, 2007

When could Iran have "the bomb?"

Before us are two articles.

The bottom one states that Iran may have the bomb by 2009 based on an estimate that they will install 1,000 centrifuges at Natanz.

The top one states that Iran is actually installing 3,000 centrifuges at Natanz.

The conclusion that suggests itself is that Iran could have a nuclear weapon within much less than two years. Of course, a bomb also requires a detonation mechanism, and if it is intended for a missile warhead, then it would probably have to be miniaturized. All this does not depend on the number of centrifuges. Still, it is worrisome.

Ami Isseroff

Iran to announce installation of 3,000 centrifuges in Natanz plant
Published: 04.08.07, 22:36 / Israel News

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to announce on Monday the installation of 3,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment in the Natanz nuclear facility, the official Iranian news agency reported.

The announcement will be made as part of the Islamic Republic's "National Nuclear Day" celebrations. (Dudi Cohen)

ABC News: Iran may produce first nuclear bomb by 2009

Tue. 03 Apr 2007
Iran Focus

London, Apr. 03 – Iran may be able to produce its first nuclear bomb by 2009, the U.S.-based news channel ABC News reported on Monday.

The report said that Tehran had more than tripled its ability to produce enriched uranium in the past three months, adding some 1,000 centrifuges which are used to separate radioactive particles from the raw material.

The development meant Iran could have enough material for a nuclear bomb by 2009, it quoted sources "familiar with the dramatic upgrade" as saying.

The unexpected expansion is taking place at Iran's uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, the report said.

Iran had previously informed the United Nations nuclear watchdog that it had 320 centrifuges running in Natanz.

A spokesperson for the International Atomic Energy Agency said that there was an "extreme sensitivity" in the situation with Iran.

Previous predictions by U.S. intelligence had cited 2015 as the earliest date for Iran to be able to develop a nuclear weapon.

Iran maintains its enrichment facilities are only meant to produce fuel for nuclear power reactors. But the uranium they are enriching could not be used in the Russian nuclear power reactor they are currently building, the report added.

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