Analysis

How Hundreds of New Centrifuges Will Help Iran Make More Nukes, Faster
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi gives a speech at the German Society for Foreign Policy on February 4, 2013 in Berlin. Salehi said that he was 'optimistic' that the United States was revamping its approach to Tehran in the protracted dispute over Iran's nuclear program. (FREDERIC LAFARGUE/AFP/Getty Images)
February 22, 2013
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
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According to a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran is preparing a dramatic acceleration in its uranium enrichment program through the installation of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of advanced centrifuges. Based on the new information in this report, LIGNET has raised its estimate of the number of nuclear weapons Iran could potentially construct to eight if its current stockpile of enriched uranium is enriched to weapons-grade, a process that could take as little as three weeks. 
Tehran’s strategy appears focused on calibrating its enrichment activities in ways that facilitate progress but avoid provoking new sanctions. By pretending to keep its enrichment activities within acceptable bounds, Iran continues to pursue multiple pathways to the production of nuclear weapons while also advancing the military dimensions of its nuclear activities.
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