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Iran Said to Nearly Finish Nuclear Enrichment Plant

IHBF

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WASHINGTON — Intelligence officials from several countries say Iran in recent weeks has virtually completed an underground nuclear enrichment plant, racing ahead despite international pressure and heavy economic sanctions in what experts say may be an effort to give it leverage in any negotiations with the United States and its allies.

The installation of the last of nearly 3,000 centrifuges at a site called Fordo, deep under a mountain inside a military base near the holy city of Qum, puts Iran closer to being able to build a nuclear weapon, or come up to the edge, if its leaders ultimately decide to proceed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/w...-complete-nuclear-enrichment-plant.html?_r=1&
 

RoadVirus

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WASHINGTON — Intelligence officials from several countries say Iran in recent weeks has virtually completed an underground nuclear enrichment plant, racing ahead despite international pressure and heavy economic sanctions in what experts say may be an effort to give it leverage in any negotiations with the United States and its allies.

The installation of the last of nearly 3,000 centrifuges at a site called Fordo, deep under a mountain inside a military base near the holy city of Qum, puts Iran closer to being able to build a nuclear weapon, or come up to the edge, if its leaders ultimately decide to proceed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/w...-complete-nuclear-enrichment-plant.html?_r=1&

And where's the UN? Busy worrying about US elections.
 

waltky

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Granny wantin' to know why dey need to upgrade dey's centrifuges?...
:eusa_eh:
Iran plans to upgrade centrifuges
Fri, Feb 01, 2013 - PEACEFUL GOALS? Tehran says it refines uranium to power a planned network of nuclear power stations, but the West fears that it could be used for weapons
Iran has informed the UN nuclear agency that it plans to use more modern uranium enrichment centrifuges at its Natanz plant, according to a document made available yesterday. Such a step could enable Iran to refine uranium faster than it can at the moment and increase concerns in Western states and Israel about the goals of Tehran’s nuclear program, which they fear has military aims. Iran says its work is peaceful.

It would also underline Iran’s defiance in the face of international demands to suspend all enrichment activities, enshrined in a series of UN Security Council resolutions, and may further complicate diplomacy to resolve the dispute. A diplomat who declined to be identified, said Iran had informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog, of the plan in a letter dated Jan. 23.

The letter said that Iran would use the new centrifuges — a model called IR2m — at a unit in the Natanz plant where Iran is enriching uranium to a fissile concentration of up to 5 percent, according to an IAEA communication to member states. “The Secretariat of the Agency received a letter from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) dated 23 January 2013 informing the Agency that ‘centrifuge machines type IR2m will be used in Unit A-22’ at the Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz,” the IAEA communication said.

Iran says it refines uranium to power a planned network of nuclear power stations. However, the West fears that the material, if enriched much further to 90 percent, could be used for weapons. Iran says its nuclear program has only peaceful goals. The Islamic republic has for years been trying to develop more centrifuges that are more efficient than the breakdown-prone 1970s IR-1 models it now uses for production.

Iran plans to upgrade centrifuges - Taipei Times
 

BreezeWood

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Iran has informed the UN nuclear agency ...


why bother ?

the Israelis should be given the green light ... with US assistance.
 

waltky

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Now we know why Iran is updating it's centrifuges...
:eusa_eh:
Israel: Iran slowing nuclear program, won&#8217;t have bomb before 2015
Monday, January 28, 2013 &#8212; Israeli intelligence officials now estimate that Iran won&#8217;t be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 or 2016, pushing back by several years previous assessments of Iran&#8217;s nuclear ambitions.
Intelligence briefings given to McClatchy over the last two months have confirmed that various officials across Israel&#8217;s military and political echelons now think it&#8217;s unrealistic that Iran could develop a nuclear weapons arsenal before 2015. Others pushed the date back even further, to the winter of 2016. "Previous assessments were built on a set of data that has since shifted," said one Israeli intelligence officer, who spoke to McClatchy only on the condition that he not be identified. He said that in addition to a series of "mishaps" that interrupted work at Iran&#8217;s nuclear facilities, Iranian officials appeared to have slowed the program on their own. "We can&#8217;t attribute the delays in Iran&#8217;s nuclear program to accidents and sabotage alone," he said. "There has not been the run towards a nuclear bomb that some people feared. There is a deliberate slowing on their end."

Reports that Iran&#8217;s nuclear facility at Fordow had been damaged in a nuclear explosion were still being investigated Monday, Israeli officials said. Satellite imagery shared with McClatchy showed that new fortifications had been built around the perimeter of the facility. "This is already Iran&#8217;s most heavily fortified facility," said another intelligence officer, based in Israel&#8217;s central command. "The new construction we are seeing here is meant to prevent access to the facility through land routes."

He speculated that Iran had taken special care to protect its facilities in Fordow because it was a "highly attractive target for an attack." "Despite repeated efforts by Iran to reinforce and protect their nuclear facilities, there have been accidents that some call sabotage that may have been carried out by a number of interested parties," he said, listing Iranian dissident groups that he said would try to attack Iranian military and nuclear facilities. "One way or another, Iran has been forced to slow down."

Writing in Israel&#8217;s Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot, military correspondent Alex Fishman said, "Officials responsible for assessing the state of the Iranian nuclear program, both in the West and in the International Atomic Energy Agency, believe that while the Iranians have continued to pursue their nuclear program, they have been doing so cautiously and slowly, making sure not to cross the point of no return." Fishman wrote that Israel&#8217;s allies in the West, including Europe and the United States, had been notified of the new calculations that Iran couldn&#8217;t possess nuclear weapons before 2015.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/01/28/181276/israel-iran-slowing-nuclear-program.html#storylink=cpy

See also:

Iran Said to Be Set to Hasten Uranium Enrichment
January 31, 2013 &#8212; Iran has told the United Nations nuclear supervisory body that it plans to install more sophisticated equipment at its principal nuclear enrichment plant, a diplomat said Thursday, enabling it to greatly accelerate processing of uranium in a move likely to worry the United States, Israel and the West.
The diplomat, based in Vienna, where the International Atomic Energy Agency has its headquarters, cited a letter from Iranian officials to the agency saying that Iran wants to upgrade its main enrichment plant at Natanz. The upgrade could speed up enrichment by as much as two or three times, the diplomat said on the condition of anonymity, in light of the confidential nature of the Iranian note. The United States and its allies accuse Tehran of seeking the technology for nuclear weapons, but Iran says it wants to use enriched uranium purely for civilian and peaceful purposes.

The disclosure came at a time of high regional tension, a day after American officials said Israeli warplanes struck deep inside Syrian territory. The American officials said they believed the target was a convoy carrying sophisticated antiaircraft weaponry on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus, that had been intended for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran is a close ally of Syria and Hezbollah. While an accelerated Iranian nuclear program would add to regional uncertainties &#8212; possibly renewing Israeli threats to strike at Iran&#8217;s nuclear facilities &#8212; there was no immediate indication that the timing of Iran&#8217;s note to the I.A.E.A. was related to the events in Syria.

International negotiations on the nuclear program are stalemated by disagreement over the venue and date for the next encounter between Iranian negotiators and outside powers. Iranian officials offered no immediate comment on the note, but nuclear experts said Iran&#8217;s ambitions to install more sophisticated centrifuges had been known for some time. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran first hinted publicly that Iranian scientists were conducting research to make these machines back in 2006. According to news reports, Tehran began testing prototypes in 2010.

It was unclear from the Iranian note whether the new centrifuges would be used to enrich uranium to the roughly 4 percent purity level used for civilian power generation, or to the 20 percent purity level that can be used in medical isotope production. The higher purity is a short technical step away from the highly enriched uranium used in nuclear arms. Cliff Kupchan, an Iran specialist at the Eurasia Group, a Washington-based risk consultancy, said in a note to clients on Thursday that the faster centrifuges, assuming they work well, &#8220;would mark a significant technological breakthrough&#8221; that could shorten the amount of time Iran would need to create fuel for nuclear arms should it choose that path.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/w...et-to-accelerate-uranium-enrichment.html?_r=0
 
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Rozman

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Iran is working on the "BIGGG BADDDDA BOOOOOOM" :eek::blowup:
 
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