Iran Nuclear Threat Greater by Fivefold, Says Former Watchdog Chief – Richard Kerbaj
(dailyalert.org, Nov. 10, 2014)
Olli Heinonen, who spent 27 years at the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Iran could have up to 5,000 IR-2m centrifuges rather than the 1,008 it has claimed. The IR-2m devices are up to five times more effective in enriching uranium than older IR-1 types. Heinonen said Tehran “could have up to 4,000 to 5,000 centrifuges or raw materials for them” located outside two of its largest nuclear sites, Natanz and Fordow. Heinonen is concerned the negotiations will merely focus on what needs to be done about Iran’s 18,000 or so IR-1 centrifuges and the 1,008 IR-2m devices.
“There are indications Iran has acquired carbon fiber, the key raw material for the advanced IR-2m centrifuges, to manufacture several thousand. The IAEA has seen 1,000 of them in Natanz and the key question is: where are the rest?” He warned any agreement that does not compel Iran to open all its nuclear facilities to scrutiny would “make no sense.” “It is important to have in this verification scheme an agreement that the IAEA can also verify all the centrifuges in Iran and not only those which are in Natanz or Fordow.” (The Times-UK)
The International Atomic Energy Agency issued a confidential report on Iran to IAEA member states on Friday, noting that Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium gas has grown by 8% to nearly 8.4 tons in about two months. Western experts say Iran would now be able to amass enough high-enriched fissile material for one bomb in a few months, if it opted for such a weapon of mass destruction. (Reuters)