Researcher: Without Military Occupation Iran to Have Nuke in Two Months

RAND Researcher's Claim of Iranian Nuke Doesn't Stand Up to Scrutiny

by Jason Ditz, June 06, 2011

A five page article from RAND researcher Gregory S. Jones released late last week reaches a grim conclusion: that without an immediate US military occupation of Iran, the Islamic Republic will have a nuclear weapon in two months.

The report is entirely a mathematical exercise, using the latest IAEA report on Iran as source material for data. It concludes that Iran will have enough 90% enriched uranium to make a nuclear warhead in just eight weeks.

Of course, one mustn’t forget that the IAEA report is two weeks old, so that knocks the time down to six weeks. And those figures weren’t fresh the day they were published, so its even less than that. Time, the biologist concludes, is running dangerously low.

The mathematics of the claim are not the core of the problem, but the assumptions underlying them. Iran’s centrifuge program has struggled mightily to create 19.7% enriched uranium (useful for medical purposes) and they have never even attempted the creation of 90%+ weapons-grade uranium. The report assumes that they could do this with perfect efficiency, no reconfiguration time, and run all the centrifuges 24-7 while making all these switches.

Of course it was only a year ago that the White House was scoffing at the claims Iran was going to create the 19.7% enriched uranium, and the nation appears to have surprised everybody by, after some 18 months, making a small amount of it. The notion that this translates into an ability to create 90% enriched uranium with absolute perfection in a matter of weeks is nonsense well beyond even the most absurd claims of the Obama Administration about Iran’s “threat.”

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