Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Is Iran just weeks away from being a nuclear power?

Last month I warned that Iran must shut down all of its uranium enrichment centrifuges, including the twenty "experimental" centrifuges. Why? Because Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had demanded
"We must have two bombs ready to go in January or you are not Muslims."
I explained that western intelligence can identify when enrichment centrifuges are running because the produce a unique "noise" or "signature." Thus, I argued that Iran would never shut these last centrifuges down. Iran needed these last centrifuges to run in order to mask a "hidden" lab of centrifuges needed in order to meet this deadline.

Unfortunately, when the issue came up at the EU3/Iran negotiations, Iran "compromised" by allowing these centrifuges to continue running "empty" but under the supervision of an IAEA video camera. In other words, Iran was able to continue it's secret program.

Now we discover that Iran is willing to violate the spirit of even this agreement with the EU3 by continuing to prepare raw uranium for enrichment. According to today's NY Times:
``The Iranians have decided to continue UF4 (uranium tetrafluoride) production until the end of February.''

UF4 is a precursor to uranium hexafluoride (UF6), the gas that is fed into centrifuges which spin at supersonic speeds to purify it for use as fuel in civilian nuclear power plants or in atomic weapons. ...

the IAEA said the deal between the EU's ``big three'' and Iran actually permitted Tehran to convert an entire batch of 37 tonnes of yellowcake...

nuclear experts said that 37 tonnes of yellowcake could yield enough uranium for up to five nuclear weapons, if it was later enriched to bomb grade purity. ...
It now appears Iran may be just a matter of weeks from declaring itself a nuclear power.

Time is running out, our intelligence services understand this. The only question now is whether or not we will be forced to act or accept the inevitable.

President Bush, faster please.


The blogosphere is helping get the word out. Thanks to: Adventures of Chester, The American Thinker, Winds of Change, The Command Post, The Collossus, Doug Hanson, FratersLibertas, and Roger L Simon. They deserve our thanks.