Atomic Expert: Iran Closer to Making Nukes

Thursday, 31 Oct 2013 05:20 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Iran is closer to producing workable nuclear weapons, but it is not there yet, according to Olli Heinonen, former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"They have the capabilities under certain conditions. They can go as quick as in two weeks to produce uranium hexafluoride, which is weapons grade," Heinonen told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below video.

"But we ought to keep in our minds that this doesn't mean they have a nuclear weapon yet. That will take some additional time."

Heinonen, a fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard University, believes Iran is currently producing enriched uranium "which it doesn't really need" for other energy uses.

"So it appears ... that they might be hedging or building a capability, perhaps, either to go to that route or be better positioned [for it]," he said.

"They are increasing these enrichment capabilities with the speed that … if they want to go to nuclear, they really can do [it].

"So this is time … [for the United States] to discuss a serious deal. But … any step from here onwards should start with full, complete declaration from Iran [as to] what is their nuclear purpose."

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