DHAKA: Iran may be constructing a secret uranium enrichment plant outside of international nuclear safeguards, according to a report from the Institute for Science and International Security.
‘Although suspicions are increasing that Iran is building a secret centrifuge plant, ISIS assesses that it is unlikely that Iran could currently have such a plant or finish one in the next year’, according to the report yesterday from the Washington-based research group.
Iran is already increasing its stockpiles of 19.75 percent low-enriched uranium which, with further processing, would be enough to fuel a single nuclear bomb ‘by early next year’, according to ISIS analysts David Albright and Christina Walrond, reports Bloomberg.
If Iran ‘modestly expands’ its capability to make 19.75 percent uranium consistent with its existing plans, it could have enough for a nuclear weapon by the end of 2012, they said.
‘Production of enough for a second nuclear weapon would take many additional months.’
The report comes days before a third round of international negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, which Israel and western nations say they suspect is being used to develop a nuclear weapons capability.
Iran says it is purely civilian and that the 19.75 percent uranium is needed for current and future reactors producing isotopes for medical use.
BDST: 1657 HRS, JUN 16, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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