Iran could produce enough weapons-grade uranium to make an atom bomb within two to four months and then would need an additional eight to 10 months to build the device, experts said on Monday.
The authors of a new report on Iran’s nuclear programme say Tehran has made progress in its uranium enrichment effort but that the United States and UN weapons inspectors would be able to detect any attempt at a “breakout” – at least for the moment.
The report, released by the Institute for Science and International Security, offers estimates on uranium stockpiles and enrichment rates based on figures from inspections of Iran’s programme by the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
To amass the 25 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium needed for one nuclear weapon, Iran “would require at least 2-4 months,” the report said.
To reach that goal, Iran would have to draw on its uranium enriched to 3.5 per cent as well as stocks of 20 per cent enriched uranium, it said.
The report appears roughly in line with the US government’s view that once Iran made a decision to make a bomb, Tehran could be months away from generating sufficient amounts of weapons-grade material and then additional months would be required to construct a device.
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