Top five reasons Iran has a nuclear weapons program

iStockphoto/mtrommer

A close-up of the Iranian flag.

Article Highlights

  • Check out the top 5 reasons #Iran has a nuclear weapons program. @dpletka

    Tweet This

  • The amount of 20% enriched uranium Iran has and is continuing to produce far exceeds any civilian requirement

    Tweet This

  • Here’s a tidbit from the November #IAEA report for those doubters that #Iran is interested in weapons research

    Tweet This

There are more, but let’s face it, if the title were Top 246 reasons, who would look?

Let’s start here, courtesy of AEI’s own Maseh Zarif, our expert on the guts of the Iranian nuclear weapons program:

• The amount of 20 percent enriched uranium Iran has and is continuing to produce far exceeds any civilian requirement it needs for the Tehran research reactor (the ostensible reason for which the regime says it needs to produce such material). The growing stockpile of this material, in fact, is shortening the time required to “break out” and produce fuel for a bomb.

• Operating the Fordow enrichment facility outside Qom—built covertly inside a mountain on an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps base—that even at full capacity (~3000 centrifuges) is not suitable for producing fuel for a civilian nuclear program; it is however, large enough to produce fuel for nuclear weapons.

• Refusing the IAEA: access to certain facilities, personnel, and documents regarding the nuclear program; implementation of the Additional Protocol that would give the IAEA greater verification authority; transparent and timely notification of its activities (e.g. at Arak, site of a reactor that will be capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium).

• The IAEA dossier in November 2011 detailed work Iran conducted in the area of weaponization, running the gamut from acquiring a weapon design to explosives testing using fissile material substitutes to experimentation relevant to testing a nuclear weapon. The agency also cited indications that Iran conducted “modeling studies” as recent as 2009. The IAEA’s reaction? – “The application of such studies to anything other than a nuclear explosive is unclear to the Agency.”

• And finally, for those doubters that Iran is really interested in actual weapons research and design (yes, you, CIA), this tidbit from the November IAEA report:

“The Agency has other information from Member States which indicates that some activities previously carried out under the AMAD Plan were resumed later, and that Mr [Mohsen]Fakhrizadeh retained the principal organizational role, first under a new organization known as the Section for Advanced Development Applications and Technologies (SADAT), which continued to report to MODAFL, and later, in mid-2008, as the head of the Malek Ashtar University of Technology (MUT) in Tehran. The Agency has been advised by a Member State that, in February 2011, Mr Fakhrizadeh moved his seat of operations from MUT to an adjacent location known  as the Modjeh Site, and that he now leads the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research. The Agency is concerned because some of the activities undertaken after 2003 would be highly relevant to a nuclear weapon program me.”

Here’s Maseh’s latest on the Iranian Program, including timelines for breakout.  Expect an update on that report next week.

Danielle Pletka is the Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at AEI.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 20
    MON
  • 21
    TUE
  • 22
    WED
  • 23
    THU
  • 24
    FRI
Monday, October 20, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Warfare beneath the waves: The undersea domain in Asia

We welcome you to join us for a panel discussion of the undersea military competition occurring in Asia and what it means for the United States and its allies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters

AEI’s Election Watch is back! Please join us for two sessions of the longest-running election program in Washington, DC. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What now for the Common Core?

We welcome you to join us at AEI for a discussion of what’s next for the Common Core.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Brazil’s presidential election: Real challenges, real choices

Please join AEI for a discussion examining each candidate’s platform and prospects for victory and the impact that a possible shift toward free-market policies in Brazil might have on South America as a whole.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.