ISIS Iran Report

Obama leaves the door to talks open;  Six months to a bomb?  Not so fast…

Obama leaves the door to talks open;  Six months to a bomb?  Not so fast… photo

July 15, 2009

A couple of important stories, one major typo and a denial:  The German weekly news magazine Stern is reporting that according to sources at the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s intelligence agency, Iran could have the capability to detonate a nuclear weapon within six months.  This is a much more aggressive timetable than ISIS has been reporting (our latest analysis said that Iran could possibly have sufficient nuclear material for a weapon in approximately that time, only should it enrich further the LEU it has currently accumulated).  The BND is now officially distancing itself from the report in Stern, saying that “We are talking about several years not several months.”  One important fix is needed to the story running at Bild.com, however, which claims that “Since the beginning of June, 4,920 of the centrifuges have been in use producing 1.3 million tonnes of enriched uranium – enough for two nuclear bombs!”  Not so fast.  That would be 1.3 tonnes, or to be precise, 1300 kilograms of low enriched uranium in the form of UF6.  Stern’s English-language summary of the piece has it right.

 

The other interesting report today comes from Haaretz, which notes that Iran’s crackdown on demonstrators could hinder the nuclear talks.  A close reading of President Obama’s remarks on CNN, a portion of which the Haaretz piece quotes, actually indicates that diplomacy is set to go forward regardless:

 

 

“I think it’s important for us to recognize that although the ... the prospects of bilateral engagement may have been ... shifted as a consequence of this post-election activity, that we still have a multilateral track with the Europeans and the Russians and the Chinese and others that ... no matter what happened we were going to have to mobilize to help to obtain some sort of serious agreement with the Iranians, and that diplomatic effort is going to continue.”

 

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