The continuing nuclear talks with Iran have just entered their most challenging phase. During the next six months, the U.S. and its negotiating partners will try, in the words of President Barack Obama, to persuade Iran to agree on a “peaceful nuclear program,” including a “modest enrichment capability,” that leaves it short of the ability to produce nuclear weapons.
This task will be far harder to achieve than is generally understood.
A civilian program to enrich uranium for nuclear power must, by its nature, be many times larger than a bomb program. That is the opposite of what most people think.… Seguir leyendo »
There has been a lot of talk about Iran making a sudden dash for the bomb. The fear is that, with its thousands of gas centrifuges and its tons of enriched uranium, Iran might be able to make a bomb’s worth of nuclear fuel before the U.S. or any other country could intervene to stop it.
In a speech in September at the United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went so far as to display a bomb diagram, on which he drew a red line showing when the dash might occur. He said it could be as early as this spring.… Seguir leyendo »
Negotiators from the world’s major powers sit down with Iran this week for more talks on its nuclear program, just weeks after North Korea tested another nuclear weapon.
If the connection between these two events isn’t obvious, it should be: North Korea’s nuclear saga is a cautionary tale for anyone attempting to bargain with the Islamic Republic.
Back in the 1980s, when suspicions were first raised about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, the country’s leadership was keen to distract attention with a show of clean hands. It joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, promised not to make the bomb and said it would report the whereabouts of all its nuclear material to international inspectors.… Seguir leyendo »
The disclosure of Iran’s secret nuclear plant has changed the way the West must negotiate with Tehran. While worrisome enough on its own, the plant at Qum may well be the first peek at something far worse: a planned, or even partly completed, hidden nuclear archipelago stretching across the country.
The Qum plant doesn’t make much sense as a stand-alone bomb factory. As described by American officials, the plant would house 3,000 centrifuges, able to enrich enough uranium for one or two bombs per year. Yet at their present rate of production, 3,000 of Iran’s existing IR-1 centrifuges would take two years to fuel a single bomb and 10 years for five weapons.… Seguir leyendo »