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Ticking Clock for Iran? Nuclear Stockpiles Raise Alarm

via The Telegraph
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A new report suggests that the Islamic Republic of Iran now possesses enough weapons-grade uranium to potentially produce a nuclear weapon within a week, marking an “extreme danger” level for the first time.

The Institute for Science and International Security wrote, “The volatile situation in the region is providing Iran with a unique opportunity and increased internal justification for building nuclear weapons while the United States and Israel’s resources to detect and deter Iran from succeeding are stretched thin.”

“The ongoing conflicts are leading to the neglect of the Iranian nuclear threat at a time when Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities have never been greater,” the report continued.

The Institute wrote, “If Iran wanted to further enrich its 60 percent enriched uranium up to 90 percent weapon-grade uranium (WGU), used in Iran’s known nuclear weapons designs from the Amad Plan, it could do so quickly.”

The report underscores Iran’s increased nuclear threat since May 2023, fueled by regional conflicts and heightened concealment efforts.

It highlights Iran’s capability to quickly enrich uranium and potentially develop multiple nuclear weapons, emphasizing the challenges in detecting such activities.

“It can break out and produce enough weapon-grade enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in a week, 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.”

The report added, “Using its remaining stock of 60 percent enriched uranium and its stock of near 20 percent enriched uranium, it 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.”

Critics have criticized the Biden administration’s response and its attempts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, attributing Iran’s growing capabilities to these efforts.

Rebeccah Heinrichs, senior fellow at Hudson Institute said, “Instead it flushed it with cash and Iran invested in its terrorism missions and its military.”

“Now it’s exporting weapons across the world, driving the proxy attacks against US forces, and advancing its nuclear program. Biden’s attempts to resurrect the disastrous deal and placate the Iran regime by waiving sanctions has resulted in a more capable, violent, and defiant regime,” she continued.

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) reported, “Despite a late December 2023 report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warning that Iran had dramatically accelerated its production of high-enriched uranium, the United States did not request an emergency IAEA board meeting to hold Iran accountable.”

The situation has been described as “trending very negative” in terms of U.S. relations with Iran, with concerns about the lack of a robust response to Iran’s accelerated uranium production.

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