Report: Iran poised to start enrichment

LA Times says engineers at Natanz testing vacuum seals on centrifuges.

March 25, 2006 11:45
iran nuclear 298.88

iran nuclear 224.88. (photo credit: AP)


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Diplomats familiar with Iran's nuclear program have said that Iran's technological capability is picking up speed. Iran is reportedly poised to begin feeding uranium gas into centrifuges, and the country will be able to begin enriching uranium within days, the Los Angeles Times reported. An official said that he expected engineers at the Natanz plant to begin testing the vacuum seals on its existing centrifuges this week. In addition, Iran is expected to construct additional centrifuges in April, a project that could take months to complete. Barring major technical setbacks, Iran could in three years build its store of enriched uranium to levels sufficient to manufacture a nuclear bomb. Three years until Iran develops nuclear weapons capability was the estimate of former nuclear weapons inspector David Albright, who noted, however, that Iran must overcome a number of technical obstacles before it masters uranium enrichment. Albright founded the Institute for Science and International Security, which is expected on Monday to release a paper giving a detailed analysis of Iran's projected progress towards a nuclear bomb.

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