Iran allegedly making significant progress in nuclear program
Newscast Media WASHINGTON, D.C.—For the past decade, we’ve been hearing reports that Iran is six months away from attaining a nuclear bomb. Using that logic, one could say that the Islamic Republic now has 20 nuclear bombs. If that is true, then why even attempt to stop a country that already has nuclear weapons in its arsenal? The latest news from nuclear inspectors is that Iran is already installing its next generation centrifuges at its main nuclear facility.
According to Deutsche Welle, in a report on issued Thursday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said 180 of the IR-2m centrifuges had been either fully or partially mounted at the Natanz facility.
“On February 6, 2013, the agency observed that Iran had started the installation of IR-2m centrifuges at the Natanz plant,” the report said.
The IR-2M centrifuges can be used to enrich uranium three to five times faster than the existing centrifuges, named IR-1.
“This is the first time that centrifuges more advanced than the IR-1 have been installed at the plant,” the report said.
However the report noted that Iran had a usable stockpile below the threshold level of about 250 kilograms, the amount necessary to build one bomb. Iran has said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
The US State Department meanwhile warned that the installation of such centrifuges, as reported, would be a “provocative step.” The UN Security Council has passed several resolutions demanding that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment, with a raft of US-led sanctions now in place.
“The installation of new advanced centrifuges would be a further escalation and a continuing violation of Iran’s obligations,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Nuland urged Iran to engage seriously with talks set to begin next Tuesday between Iran and the so-called P5 plus 1 group – permanent Security Council member the US, China, Russia, Britain and France, as well as Germany.