New Report Indicates Increased Uranium Output In Iran
The data of Iran’s progress in nuclear activities is important to determining Iran’s capability for building atomic bombs. Many countries continue to closely monitor Iran’s nuclear programs, even though “Iran denies any plan to [develop atomic bombs] and says its aims are entirely peaceful.” The United Nations has passed resolutions calling on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment programs, which it has not done.
The IAEA report said that Iran
“had produced almost 6.2 tons of uranium enriched to a level of 3.5 percent since it began the work in 2007 – some of which has subsequently been further processed into higher-grade material.
“This is nearly 750 kg more than in the previous IAEA report issued in February, and ISIS said Iran's monthly production had risen by roughly a third.
“‘This total amount of 3.5 percent low enriched uranium hexafluoride, if further enriched to weapon grade, is enough to make over five nuclear weapons,’ ISIS said in its analysis.
“It added, however, that some of Iran's higher-grade uranium had been converted into reactor fuel and would not be available for nuclear weapons, at least not quickly,” according to Reuters.
Iran’s stated purpose for its uranium enrichment program is its use as fuel in power plants; however, the material can also be used for the creation of bombs. Iran continues to deny the latter purpose.
Another explanation being offered for the increases in enriched uranium detailed in the reports is that the finding was a result of a technical glitch, the Associated Press reports. Even though "the uranium found had been enriched to a level that is slightly closer to the threshold needed for nuclear weapons than Iran's previous highest-known enrichment grade," "Tehran said the find was a technical glitch, according to the report. Analysts and diplomats said Iran's version sounded plausible.”