While America Dithers, Iran Moves Closer to Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/israel-zionism/2021/10/while-america-dithers-iran-moves-closer-to-obtaining-a-nuclear-weapon/

October 20, 2021 | Simon Henderson
About the author:

In yesterday’s edition of Israel’s staunchly left-wing paper Haaretz, the daily cartoon by Amos Biderman showed President Biden waiting patiently at a negotiating table, while a black-turbaned ayatollah affixes a warhead to the top of a ballistic missile and says “I’ll be right there.” Simon Henderson makes a similar point about the stalled negotiations to resurrect the 2015 nuclear deal:

While Washington policy circles debate apparently endlessly about Iran’s nuclear intentions and its level of expertise, Tehran presses on remorselessly.

On October 10, Mohammad Eslami, the newly-appointed head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, announced that his country had produced more than 120kg of 20-percent-enriched uranium. This is a dramatic increase from the 84kg reported a month earlier by the nuclear watchdog, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the IAEA’s figure of around 63kg three months earlier.

Lost in the reporting was the [straightforward but technical] detail that such a level of production is getting tantalizingly close to the magic figure of 200kg. This is the amount of 20-percent-enriched uranium that, in the arcane code of nuclear weapons, when further enriched to 90 percent is one “significant quantity”—[that is], the amount needed to make one atomic bomb.

And as Henderson carefully explains, the distance between 20-percent and 90-percent enrichment is not nearly so great as one would hope.

Read more on The Hill: https://thehill.com/opinion/international/576798-while-washington-argues-iran-makes-nuclear-advances

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