(Reuters) - Iran has significantly stepped up its output of low-enriched uranium and total production in the last five years would be enough for at least five nuclear weapons if refined much further, a U.S. security institute said.
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a think-tank which tracks Iran's nuclear program closely, based the analysis on data in the latest report by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which was issued on Friday.
Progress in Iran's nuclear activities is closely watched by the West and Israel as it could determine how long it could take Tehran to build atomic bombs, if it decided to do so. Iran denies any plan to and says its aims are entirely peaceful.
During talks in Baghdad this week, six world powers failed to convince Iran to scale back its uranium enrichment program. They will meet again in Moscow next month to try to defuse a decade-old standoff that has raised fears of a new war in the Middle East that could disrupt oil supplies.
Friday's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a Vienna-based U.N. body, showed Iran was pressing ahead with its uranium enrichment work in defiance of U.N. resolutions calling on it to suspend the activity.
It said Iran had produced almost 6.2 tons of uranium enriched to a level of 3.5 percent since it began the work in 2007 - some of which has subsequently been further processed into higher-grade material.
This is nearly 750 kg more than in the previous IAEA report issued in February, and ISIS said Iran's monthly production had risen by roughly a third.
"This total amount of 3.5 percent low enriched uranium hexafluoride, if further enriched to weapon grade, is enough to make over five nuclear weapons," ISIS said in its analysis.
It added, however, that some of Iran's higher-grade uranium had been converted into reactor fuel and would not be available for nuclear weapons, at least not quickly.
Friday's IAEA report also said environmental samples taken in February at Iran's Fordow facility - buried deep beneath rock and soil to protect it from air strikes - showed the presence of particles with enrichment levels of up to 27 percent.
Iran's permanent representative to the body played down the findings, saying some western media sought to turn a technical issue into a political one.
"This matter is a routine technical discussion that is currently being reviewed by experts," IRNA quoted Ali Asghar Soltanieh, as saying.
The IAEA report suggested it was possible that particles of uranium enriched to higher-than-declared levels could be the result of a technical phenomenon. Experts say that while it is embarrassing for Iran, there is no real cause for concern.
The U.N. agency also said satellite images showed "extensive activities" at the Parchin military complex which inspectors want to check over suspicions that research relevant to nuclear weapons was done there.
After talks in Tehran earlier this week, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said the two sides were close to an agreement to let inspectors resume investigations into suspected nuclear explosive experiments in Iran.
Enriched uranium can be used to fuel power plants, which is Iran's stated purpose, or to provide material for bombs, if refined to a much higher degree. The West suspects that may be Iran's ultimate goal despite the Islamic Republic's denials.
Iran began enriching uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent in 2010, saying it needed this to fuel a medical research reactor. It later expanded the work sharply by launching enrichment at Fordow.
It alarmed a suspicious West since such enhanced enrichment accomplishes much of the technical leap towards 90 percent - or weapons-grade - uranium.
Central to the talks in Baghdad were attempts to get Iran to halt enrichment to 20 percent, in exchange for measures to ease sanctions and assistance with safety at its nuclear plants.
Iran demanded world powers expressly confirm its right to enrich uranium.
Iran has installed more than 50 percent more enrichment centrifuges at Fordow, the IAEA report said. Although not yet being fed with uranium, the new machines could be used to further boost Iran's output of uranium enriched to 20 percent.
ISIS said Iran still appeared to be experiencing problems in its testing of production-scale units of more advanced centrifuges that would allow it to refine uranium faster, even though it had made some progress.
Since the 1979 Iranian revolution and the downfall of the US Puppet Ruler the Shah, Iran has been an Islamic state. In that interval of time, 1979 to the present, Iran has not invaded anyone. Not once. People of all religions live in peace in Iran, even Jews, who find life so comfortable in Iran they refused an offer by the government of Israel to emigrate!
In the same period of time, Israel, a self-declared Jewish state, attacked Iraq in 1981, bombing the power station at Osirik, claiming it was a clandestine weapons factory. Subsequent examination of the ruins following the 2003 invasion proved Israel had lied. In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon. This led to the Massacres at Sabra and Shatilla. In February 2003 Israel staged incursions into Gaza and Nablus. In September 2007 Israel bombed Syria, again insisting they were destroying a clandestine weapons laboratory. Again there was no evidence to support Israel's claims. In 2006, Israel attacked Lebanon, killing 1200, mostly civilians, several UN observers, and littering the landscape with land mines on their way out. In February 2008 Israel again raided Gaza, killing over 100. HAMAS agreed to a cease fire and kept it for 6 months until November 4, when Israel again attacked without warning, killing 6 HAMAS members, and launching operation CAST LEAD. 1300 Gazans, mostly civilians, were killed. Israel lost 13 soldiers. Violations of international law included the use of White Phosphorus incendiary bombs against civilians and non-military targets. The United Nations investigated, but Israel refused to cooperate. In May 2010, Israel attacked an international aid flotilla bringing food and medical supplies to Gaza in international waters. 9 people were murdered including an American from New York.
In the same period of time, the United States, officially a secular nation but predominantly Christian, attacked El Salvador (1980), Libya (1981), Sinai (1982), Lebanon (1982 1983), Egypt (1983), Grenada (1983), Honduras (1983), Chad (1983), Persian Gulf (1984), Libya (1986) , Bolivia (1986), Iran (1987), Persian Gulf (1987), Kuwait (1987), Iran (1988), Honduras (1988), Panama (1988), Libya (1989), Panama (1989), Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru (1989), Philippines (1989), Panama (1989-1990), Liberia (1990), Saudi Arabia (1990), Iraq (1991), Zaire (1991), Sierra Leone (1992), Somalia (1992), Bosnia-Herzegovina (1993 to present), Macedonia (1993), Haiti (1994), Macedonia (1994), Bosnia (1995), Liberia (1996), Central African Republic (1996), Albania (1997), Congo/Gabon (1997), Sierra Leon (1997), Cambodia (1997), Iraq (1998), Guinea/Bissau (1998), Kenya/Tanzania (1998 to 1999), Afghanistan/Sudan (1998), Liberia (1998), East Timor (1999), Serbia (1999), Sierra Leon (2000), Yemen (2000), East Timor (2000), Afghanistan (2001 to present), Yemen (2002), Philippines (2002) , Cote d'Ivoire (2002), Iraq (2003 to present), Liberia (2003), Georgia/Djibouti (2003), Haiti (2004), Georgia/Djibouti/Kenya/Ethiopia/Yemen/Eritrea War on Terror (2004), Pakistan drone attacks (2004 to present), Somalia (2007), South Ossetia/Georgia (2008), Syria (2008), Yemen (2009), Haiti (2010), etc. etc. etc. etc.
So, who is the danger to world peace?
And to add - Iran vs Israel: What The Media Wants You To Forget
The corporate media have been given their orders to throw the focus back on to Iran.
Here is a recap of what they are trying to make you forget.
6. Contrary to face-saving claims, it appears that the US and Israel were both caught off guard by Iran's announcement of a planned underground (to avoid being bombed) enrichment facility. The reasoning is simple. Had the US or Israel announced the existence of he new facility before Iran's notified the IAEA, it would have put Iran on the defensive. As it is now, the US and Israel seem to be playing catch up, casting doubt on the veracity of Israel's claims to "know" that Iran is a nuclear threat.
9. Israel made the same accusations against Iraq that it is making against Iran, leading up to Israel's bombing of the power station at Osirik. Following the invasion of 2003, international experts examined the ruins of the power station at Osirik and found no evidence of a clandestine weapons factory in the rubble.- http://www.antiwar.com/wanniski/?articleid=2721
10. The United Nations has just released the Goldstone Report, a scathing report which accuses Israel of 37 specific war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza earlier this year. Israel has denounced the report as "Anti-Semitic (even though Judge Goldstone is himself Jewish), and the United States will block the report from being referred to the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague, thereby making the US Government an accessory after-the-fact.
We all need to be Joe Wilson right now. We need to stand up and scream, "LIAR!" at every politician and every talking media moron that is pushing this war in Iran. And we need to keep dong it until they get the message that we will not be deceived any more.
Israel wants to send your/our kids off to die in Iran, and YOU are the only one that can stop them.
I love the way George Galloway handles this caller - George Galloway talking about war with Iran - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtw5Zy2M6rk
Most people are so clueless of the facts and just parrakeet crap that they hear from the mainstream media with NO flitering whatsoever... Simply amazing...and frustrating at the same time.
Last edited by Victory Trader; May 26th, 2012 at 04:04 PM.
Reason: Added info...
The following user says Thank You to Victory Trader for this post:
what it is you are trying to say.... I hope that is not your rebutal... Cuz that is as frustrating when people make statements that dont mean anything... Disagree or agree...whatever...But please back it up with something...other then CNN-ABC- well the alphabet media as it were.... Give you thoughts from research you have done on your own... That is what I want to read so that I know where you are coming from.
Here is perfect example of why I pay very little attention to mainstream media news...Charles Jaco was the CNN reporter famous for covering the 1990 Persian Gulf War.
The first part of this video shows the stage set he was on, and he was clowning around with fellow CNN staff. The Saudi Arabian "hotel" in the background were fake palm trees and a blue wall in a studio. This clip was leaked by CNN staff.
The second part of this video was a live CNN satellite feed recorded onto VHS showing the final cut. Charles Jaco was wearing a different jacket, but he had the same act. The acting was terrible as Charles Jaco wore a gas mask, and his fellow correspondent Carl Rochelle wore a helmet. The sirens and missile sound effects are part of the stage set. The camera never pans out or shows the sky.
These clips are the highest quality of this newscast and behind the scenes.
Yes, Charles Jaco was a reporter for CNN. Google his name and read the results.
This is the reason why I don't trust mainstream news. It is all theater and it's completely staged. I only use the news as a guide to get an idea of what is going on, and then I do further research myself.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LvNIUHgnGk - CNN's Fake Persian Gulf War Newscast - And you think for a momment that they dont pull crap all the time...(I have many examples from FOX, ABC etc) Well what can I say... What the eyes see the ears hear the mind believes .....for those who are not independent thinkers... I see it in the trading world as well. Oh and Charles Jaco now works for FOX news!!!
Last edited by Victory Trader; May 26th, 2012 at 04:24 PM.
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