Wednesday, June 08, 2011

RAND Corporation: Iran Likely To Have Enough Material For First Bomb In 2 Months

According to an analysis by RAND Corporation researcher Gregory S. Jones, at its current rate of uranium enrichment, Tehran could have enough for its first bomb within eight weeks.

According to Jones, Iran has produced 38.3 kg of uranium enriched at 19.7%. If its centrifuges continue to work at their current rate, it will take around two months for the Iranian regime to produce the 20 kg of uranium enriched to 90% required for a nuclear warhead. Constructing the warhead itself will likely take an additional two months.

Jones based his report on recent findings by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), published two weeks ago.

In his report, Jones wrote that air strikes by the US or Israel would no longer be sufficient to prevent Iran from creating a nuclear weapon, and that there is nothing the US can do to stop Iran from going nuclear, short of military occupation.

I personally think that a concerted raid on Iran's infrastructure and centrifuge plants would change the equation, but that such a raid is unlikely given the present administration in the White House.Israel is obviously being constrained by the Obama Administration, although it remains to be seen if the Israelis are going to allow an existential threat like this to materialize without at least trying to stop it.If they don't, in later years we're going to realize exactly how huge a strategic error letting Iran go nuclear was.

Once Iran has a few nukes in place,they will be able to shut down the oil flow from the Persian Gulf at will,menace what's left of US allies in the region, blackmail Europe and proliferate nuclear weapons to rogue regimes all over the globe. There's absolutely no question that they would use nukes against Israel at a time of their choosing...or against Europe and the US.

The RAND analysis may be optimistic as far as a time frame goes, but there's no question that the clock is ticking.

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