Iran's Nuclear Slowdown Puts Off War For Now

Expanding Uranium Capacity Could Bring Tensions Back

getty images

By Reuters

Published November 05, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Stoking Western alarm, Iran has sharply expanded this enrichment activity - which compares to the 3.5 percent level needed for most nuclear power plants - over the last year to about 15 kg per month.

By August, Iran had produced 190 kg of 20 percent uranium since this work started in early 2010, nearing the amount needed for one bomb. But roughly half had been fed into conversion for making fuel for a Tehran research reactor, or was about to be.

Producing reactor fuel has always been Iran’s stated purpose for refining uranium to 20 percent fissile purity. The West fears Tehran’s ultimate goal is to develop atom bomb capability, a charge it rejects.

IRANIAN NUCLEAR SIGNAL?

“The conversion to oxide is relevant because it demonstrates that there is a civilian purpose for the 20 percent product and because the time for reconversion would have to be factored into the break-out scenario,” said Mark Fitzpatrick at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think-tank.

“It would not be practical for Iran to make a dash to produce weapons starting with enriched uranium that is in oxide form,” he said.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak referred to this development last week when he said Iran had drawn back from its alleged ambition to build a nuclear bomb by using more than a third of its higher-grade uranium for civilian purposes.

As a result, he told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, an immediate crisis was avoided and it “allows contemplating delaying the moment of truth by eight to ten months”, an apparent allusion to a possible Israeli military attack.

Barak - suggesting that talk of Israeli or U.S. strikes may have deterred Iran from building up its 20 percent stockpile further - added however that he believed Tehran was still resolved to make nuclear weapons.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.