- Kurdish Death Row Prisoner Transferred, His Lawyer Arrested
- Two Prisoners Executed For Espionage in Tehran
- Imprisoned Dervish Transferred to Hospital after Heart Attack
- Seven prisoners Were Hanged In Northern Iran
- Three Prisoners Were Hanged In Central Iran
- Dervish Issued Harsh Sentence to Intimidate Others
- CIA head visits Israel to discuss Syria, Iran's nuclear program
- US targets Iran rial, gold imports in sanctions pressure
- Israel air strike on Syria 'is a message to Iran and the US'
- Israel Will Strike Iran 's Subterranean Nuclear Sites
- Iran, not Israel, faces an existential threat, says top US analyst
- Oil-rich Emirates a key part of defense against Iran
- Religious leaders ban 30 women from running for Iran's presidency
- Iranian cleric: Women can't be president in Iran
- Iranians marrying foreigners without state consent face prosecution
- More women smuggling drugs out of Iran
- Canada’s High Court could try Iran for Zahra Kazemi murder
- "Hole"/ Saba Vasefi
- When it comes to Syria and Hezbollah, Israel is walking a tightrope
- IRGC: World now eying Iranian regime's resistance
- Two Iranians in Kenya found guilty of bomb plots
- Iran develops rocket-launcher submarine, smart ships
- Iran to unveil indigenous ballistic, cruise missiles
- Why Iran Is Trying to Save the Syrian Regime
Thursday 21 June 2012
THE TELEGRAPH - The rate of Iran's uranium enrichment has accelerated despite cyber sabotage from the Stuxnet virus in 2009, the experts said.
Based on the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), "it's clear that Iran could produce a nuclear weapon very quickly should it wish to do so," said Stephen Rademaker of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.
Iran has produced 3,345 kilos of uranium enriched to 3.5 per cent, according to the IAEA, which if it was enriched further would provide enough uranium for at least two atom bombs, Rademaker told the House Armed Services Committee.
If the Iran leadership decided to go forward, "it would take them 35 to 106 days to actually have the fissile material for a weapon," he said.
David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), told the same hearing that "it would take Iran at least four months in order to have sufficient weapon grade uranium ... for a nuclear explosive device."
Uranium 235 must be enriched close to 90 per cent for use in an atom bomb. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the Iranians are about a year away from producing enough highly-enriched uranium needed for a nuclear weapon, a threshold that Washington views as a "red line."
More than 9,000 Iranian centrifuges are churning out 158 kilograms of 3.5 per cent enriched uranium a month, three times the production rate compared to mid-2009, when the Stuxnet virus struck the program, Rademaker said.
The enrichment rate is "three times the rate of production prior to the Stuxnet virus, which many people have suggested somehow crippled their programme."
"So Stuxnet may have set them back, but not by very much, at least not sufficiently," he added.
According to the New York Times, President Barack Obama, and his predecessor in the White House, George W. Bush, approved the use of the Stuxnet virus to disrupt Iran's nuclear programme, in the first known sustained US cyber attack.
Stuxnet a complex virus developed jointly with Israel“ sowed confusion at Iran's Natanz nuclear plant, the Times reported, but the virus later accidentally spread outside of Iran, appearing in computer systems other countries.