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Iran Closer to weaponizing a Nuke!

Interesting Article: "Israel says Iran has material for four A-bombs" by Jeffrey Heller / Jerusalem published Thursday, February 2, 2012

An interesting article mentioned that Israel estimated on Thursday that Iran could make four atomic bombs by further enriching uranium it has already stockpiled, and could produce its first within a year of deciding to build one. Citing figures similar to those from the U.N. nuclear agency, Major-General Aviv Kochavi, chief of military intelligence told Israel's annual Herzliya Conference on strategic affairs: "Iran has accumulated more than 4 tons of uranium enriched to a level of 3.5 percent and nearly 100 kilos at an enrichment level of 20 percent.”This amount of material is already enough for four atomic bombs." Want to know more?


Nuclear bombs require uranium enriched to 90 percent, but Western experts say much of the effort required to get there is already achieved once it reaches 20-percent purity, shortening the time needed for any nuclear weapons "break-out." One former U.N. inspector said last month Iran could have enough 20-percent uranium for one bomb - about 250 kg of the material - in about a year from now. Arming a missile with a nuclear warhead, could take a year or two longer. In a report in November, the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had almost 5 tons of low-enriched uranium and, citing data from September, 73.7 kg of uranium with a purity of 20 percent. Israel, widely believed to possess the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, has said it would use force if necessary to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. See map of Iran's nuclear sights on right.

In separate remarks in Tel Aviv, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said "we are in a period of diplomacy and sanctions" in trying to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions. Washington and the European Union have imposed tighter sanctions in recent weeks on both Iran's oil exports and on international financial transactions with Tehran. Tension between Iran and the West over Iran's nuclear work has increased since November, when the IAEA published a report that said Tehran appeared to have worked on designing a nuclear weapon. Israel’s remarks follow comments by the U.S. defense secretary, Leon Panetta, who recently said U.S. bunker-buster bombs were not powerful enough to penetrate all of Iran’s defenses.

In addition, Iran was working on developing a missile with 10,000 km range that would put America in reach of a potential Iranian attack, Strategic Affairs Minister and Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Thursday. According to Ya'alon, the missile was based on a solid fuel propellant and would have been able to significantly increase Iran's offensive capabilities. Last month, a mysterious explosion rocked an Iranian missile base near Tehran where Iran was working on developing this long range missile. Ya'alon also said that Turkey is helping Iran bypass the sanctions that have been imposed on it in recent months. According to the vice prime minister, who was in the United States last week for talks on Iran with senior officials from the Obama administration, Turkey was helping Iran circumvent the sanctions by allowing it to use its banking system. Ya'alon also said that Iran and Hezbollah were working with drug cartels in Mexico to learn how to smuggle materials into the US, a conduit that could one day be used to smuggle weapons into the country.

Israeli Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz said his country must build up its military capabilities and be prepared to strike if economic sanctions fail to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.


References:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/israels-military-chief-iran-could-have-nuclear-weapons-capability-within-a-year/2012/02/01/gIQAgiHJiQ_story.html
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/02/02/bloomberg_articlesLYQBA46JIJUO01-LYQLB.DTL
http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=256186
http://israelinsight.com/?p=567




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