Iran Is Ahead of Schedule on 20% Enriched Uranium Production

Speaker: Iran produced 17 kg in less than a month

Iranian parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf reported Thursday on state TV that the nation’s enrichment of 20% enriched uranium is well ahead of schedule, and that they have produced some 17 kg so far.

That’s a surprising lot, as they’ve been at it for less than a month. Iran’s Atomic agency originally predicted 120 kg of production per year, so only 10 kg per month. Clearly they’re well ahead of that already.

20% is the highest level of enrichment Iran has ever produced to, and the uranium will be converted to fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor. Weapons grade would need a minimum 90% enrichment, a process Iran has never attempted.

While some hawks argue that 20% is dangerously close to 90%, it’s not clear it’s that easy to get over that hump, let alone to convert the material into a deliverable weapon. Iran has ruled out making nuclear arms on a religious basis, and commits to purely civilian use.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.