Tehran could be ready to construct a nuclear bomb in a month, according to U.S. nuclear expert David Albright, even as the Obama administration lobbies against congressional efforts to toughen sanctions against Iran, USA Today reported
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) estimate, contained in a new report, is based on an analysis of recent U.N. and Iranian reports about the Islamic Republic’s centrifuge equipment for nuclear fuel production and its nuclear fuel stockpile.
Iran may be capable of getting enough weapons-grade uranium to build a bomb in no more than a month, according to ISIS president Albright, a former weapons inspector for the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency.
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One year ago, the ISIS estimated that Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb within two to four months.
Iran's stockpile of highly enriched uranium has nearly doubled in a year's time. Its centrifuge stockpile has expanded from 12,000 last year to 19,000 today, USA Today said.
Sen. Mark Kirk, (R-Ill.), said the report shows that Iran is expanding its nuclear capabilities while negotiations continue.
"The Senate should move forward immediately with a new round of sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring an undetectable breakout capability," said Kirk, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, which is considering legislation to toughen U.S. sanctions on Iran.
The White House wants to delay sanctions legislation while current talks with Iran continue. The negotiations are officially scheduled to resume next month in Switzerland.
The Jerusalem Post
quoted a senior Senate aide as stating that Republicans would oppose further delay, but that the ultimate decision on sanctions legislation would rest with Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Neither lawmaker has said how the Senate will go forward on the issue.
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