US: Nuclear Iran at least a year away
Report: Ahmadinejad prepared to begin talks with Security Council.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM STAFF
August 20, 2010 13:01
1 minute read.
Ahmadinejad peace sign 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The US has convinced Israel that Iran is at least a year away from building nuclear weapon, The New York Times reported Friday.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "promised to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent if a fuel supply is ensured," saying Iran was prepared to begin talks with the five permanent members of the UN
Security Council plus Germany on a nuclear fuel swap deal immediately, speaking in an interview published Friday in Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, AFP reported.
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officials thought Iran could develop nuclear weapons within months. But
Gary Samore, President Barack Obama's top adviser on nuclear issues,
told the Times he thinks it would take Teheran "roughly a year" to turn low-enriched uranium into weapons-grade material.
"A year is a very long period of time," Samore was quoted by the newspaper in a report posted on its website late Thursday.
The assessment is based on US intelligence and international inspectors' reports.
officials have indicated that if they thought Iran was developing a
nuclear weapon, they would probably take military action. Iran says it
is enriching uranium only for peaceful purposes.
Israeli officials believe that Iran has only enough nuclear materials
for two weapons. And to build those two would require the country to
kick out international inspectors, which would make it clear what its
It would also take some time for Iran to convert its nuclear facilities to produce weapons-grade uranium.
Iran has added relatively few centrifuges — machines that enrich uranium
— this year, and only about half of those are working, according to the
International Atomic Energy Agency.
"Either they don't have the machines, or they have real questions about their technical competence," Samore told the Times.
Israeli officials remain suspicious that Iran has a secret enrichment site.