Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Iran gets closer to the A-bomb

The United Nations said on Wednesday Iran planned to convert a large amount of raw 'yellowcake' uranium into uranium hexafluoride, which one nuclear expert said would be enough to build five atomic bombs.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in the confidential report circulated to diplomats and obtained by Reuters that Iran planned a 'larger test' of a uranium conversion facility 'involving 37 tons of yellowcake.'

David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector and currently president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said this could theoretically result in 100 kg of weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium.

Speaking purely hypothetically, Albright said: 'It's roughly enough for about five crude nuclear weapons of the type Iran could conceivably build.'"