The Iranian Nuclear Program: Timelines, Data, and Estimates

In a new study of Iran’s nuclear program, Maseh Zarif, Iran team leader for AEI's Critical Threats Project, finds that:

  • Iran is expanding its uranium enrichment at both its Natanz and Fordow facilities. As a result, it is reducing the time it would need to produce fuel for an atomic weapon
  • It is estimated that by April 2012, the Iranians will have enough 20% enriched uranium to be within three months of producing fuel for a nuclear bomb – possibly by July 2012, which is one month ahead of earlier assessments based on data in the previous International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report
  • This faster timetable is due to a sudden increase in the growth of 20% enriched uranium. Iran is now enriching uranium at this level at both the Natanz and the Fordow enrichment facilities, and has expanded both facilities in recent months according to the February 2012 IAEA report


Sanctions, diplomatic tools, and other measures have neither changed Iran’s nuclear policy, nor had a visible impact on Iran’s nuclear program. Yet, some in the United States and the international community still dismiss the looming reality of a nuclear-armed Iran.

You may also be interested in Maseh Zarif's other writings on the Iranian nuclear program:


AEI's Critical Threats Project is directed by AEI resident scholar Frederick W. Kagan. Maseh Zarif can be reached at
maseh.zarif@aei.org or through katherine.faley@aei.org (202.828.6035).

For help reaching any AEI scholars and for all other media requests, please contact Jesse Blumenthal at jesse.blumenthal@aei.org or 202.862.4870.

AEI's in-house ReadyCam TV studio may be booked by calling VideoLink at 617.340.4300. For radio interviews, please e-mail jesse.blumenthal@aei.org to reserve AEI's ISDN facilities.

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About the Author

 

Maseh
Zarif
  • Maseh Zarif is the deputy director and Iran research Team Lead for the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. He works on national security issues related to the Middle East and South Asia, with a particular focus on Iran’s nuclear program and its regional activities. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, National Review Online, and Foreign Policy, among others, and has appeared on CNN and Fox. Before joining AEI, he worked for several years in corporate finance as an analyst and a consultant.

  • Phone: 202.862.5929
    Email: maseh.zarif@aei.org

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