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Iran could be nuclear within a week, new report says


 Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei views a model of a nuclear facility, in Tehran, Iran June 11, 2023 (photo credit: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS)Enlarge Image
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei views a model of a nuclear facility, in Tehran, Iran June 11, 2023
(photo credit: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS)

Moreover, using its remaining stock of enriched uranium, the country could have in total enough weapon-grade uranium for six weapons in one month.

A new report from the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) is sounding the alarm on Iran’s closeness to going nuclear, upgrading its threat level to “Extreme Danger,” the highest of its six ratings, for the first time since the group began following the Iranian nuclear program in the 1990s.

Since 2022, the report says, Iran’s ‘breakout’ time has been zero— that is to say, Iran “has more than enough… highly enriched uranium (HEU) to directly fashion a nuclear explosive.” Uranium itself is not the only component required to fashion a nuclear weapon, though it is by far the hardest to come by. “If Iran wanted to further enrich its 60 percent enriched uranium up to 90 percent weapon-grade uranium (WGU)... it could do so quickly,” the report says. 

“[Iran] can break out and produce enough weapon-grade enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in a week,” it goes on, “using only a fraction of its 60 percent enriched uranium. This breakout could be difficult for inspectors to detect promptly, if Iran took steps to delay inspectors’ access.”

Moreover, using its remaining stock of enriched uranium, the country “could have in total enough weapon-grade uranium for six weapons in one month, and after five months of producing weapon-grade uranium, it could have enough for twelve.” 

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 Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei views the Iran nuclear achievements, in Tehran, Iran June 11, 2023.  (credit: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS)Enlarge Image
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei views the Iran nuclear achievements, in Tehran, Iran June 11, 2023. (credit: Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS)

A weapon itself would take longer, but not by much

Although manufacturing the delivery system for the weapon itself could take longer, an accelerated program to develop a simple warhead delivered by ship or truck “could be accomplished in about six months,” signaling Iran’s nuclearization “either dramatically via an underground nuclear test or stealthily via leaks about its accomplishment.”

Moreover, Iran has been uncooperativewith international nuclear inspectors for the last several years, the report noted, making it less likely that the world would notice such activity in time to prevent its success.

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