Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Ahmadinejad's Announcement Was Misleading - Iran's Nuclear Programme Facing Severe Difficulties

Iran's nuclear programme is apparently facing severe technical difficulties. Experts now say that it could take four years to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one bomb.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's April 9th announcement that uranium enrichment on an "industrial scale" had begun was "misleading" and the time-scale for success is likely to be longer than early estimates suggested. Ahmadinejad was simply grandstanding, not that it is any surprise.

"It's very difficult to enrich uranium," said Norman Dombey, emeritus professor of theoretical physics at Sussex University. "It calls for several different scientific and engineering disciplines. Iran hasn't yet shown that it has mastered the problem."

Dombey estimates that Iran will need about two years simply to master the process of running centrifuges. Then, making allowances for interruptions caused by breakdowns, it could take another two years to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one bomb. "At the moment, their programme doesn't constitute a threat. It would constitute a threat if they were enriching substantial amounts to more than five per cent and they're not. In fact they're not enriching anything very much. This talk about industrial scale enrichment is misleading."

The programme may not constitute a threat at the moment but what will happen 4 years down the road when it does? We should be counting our blessings that the Iranian President was exaggerating their capabilities and find a way to prevent Iran's programme from EVER becoming a threat. Once it does it may be too late. Unfortunately what will most likely happen is that our government along with the UN with impose sanctions and discuss why Iran should stop the enrichment of uranium. Four years down the line they will have the technology and no doubt will have built a bomb. There will then be discussions as to why they were not stopped and what should have been done. The result? Iran will have become an even greater and more deadly threat.

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