Iran Eager for Nuclear Test

Friday, 10 Jun 2011 11:33 AM

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An Iranian website close to the Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday that the day after Iran’s first nuclear test will be “a normal day” just like any other.

After running through imaginary headlines, the article concluded that the rest of the world would continue its business just as before, but that Iranians would be filled with pride.

“The day after the first Iranian nuclear test for us Iranians will be an ordinary day, but in the eyes of many of us, it will have a new shine, from the power and dignity of the nation," the article says.

The article was entitled, “The Day After the First Iranian Nuclear Test — a Normal Day.”

The Revolutionary Guards website speculated that the nuclear test would be conducted underground, somewhere in “the central [deserts] of Iran.”

The article ends with a quote from the Koran, “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah.”

These latest claims come as Iran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that it plans to withdraw uranium from safeguarded stockpiles at Natanz and send it to an underground bunker near Qom for further enrichment.
Revolutionary Guards, iran, nuclear, power plant, Qom, Natanz, iaea
Bushehr Power Plant (AP)

This would appear to indicate that Iran was heading toward a “break-out” scenario, where it would enrich its existing stockpiles of nuclear fuel to weapons grade at unsafeguarded nuclear sites.

Speaking at an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board meeting in Vienna, Washington's envoy Glyn Davies said the plan was Iran's "most recent brazen example of its deepening non-compliance."

Iran said it wanted to enrich uranium up to 20 percent for use in a 50-year old research reactor in Tehran. It told the IAEA on Wednesday it plans to triple its current enrichment capabilities, and will send some of the uranium to a previously secret site near Qom known as Fordo.

The Fordo enrichment plant will be fitted out with a new generation of Iranian-designed centrifuges, which IAEA analysts believe are more efficient that the 8,000 machines currently installed in Iran’s operational enrichment plant at Natanz.

According to a report released earlier this week from the Non-Proliferation Policy Education Center, Iran could produce its first bomb’s worth of nuclear fuel in just 62 days using the uranium from Natanz.

The analysis, written by nuclear weapons expert Greg Jones, says that the U.S. and Israel “have failed to prevent Iran from gaining the ability to produce nuclear weapons whenever Iran wishes to do so. It is time to recognize this policy failure and decide what to do next, based on a realistic assessment of Iran’s uranium enrichment efforts,” Jones wrote.

Jones concluded that it was “unclear what actions the U.S. or Israel could take (short of militarily occupying Iran) that could now prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons.”

The IAEA has evidence that Iran has conducted cold tests on the high explosive core of a proven nuclear weapons design and has carried out design work to fit the warhead to an existing missile, as Newsmax reported last week.

In his statement to the IAEA board on Monday, IAEA Secretary General Yukiya Amano contradicted assertions by the U.S. intelligence community that Iran had ceased work on nuclear weapons in 2003.

“There are indications that certain of these activities may have continued until recently,” Amano said.

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