Olli Heinonen warns of rapid progress in the Iranian nuclear program: The country is not far from the production of a bomb.
The former Vice Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Olli Heinonen, believes Iran’s “nuclear breakthrough” in terms of nuclear weapons capability is possible in two months. In a studio interview on the Israeli broadcaster TV7 / Israel News on Friday, the nuclear expert pointed to the rapid progress in the Iranian nuclear program.
Iran has already produced metallic uranium-235 enriched to 20 percent. In addition, the country could produce uranium-235 with a purity of 60 percent. Tehran has already done 95 percent of the work to be able to enrich uranium for weapons.
Two to three cascades are necessary
It only takes two to three cascades of enrichment centrifuges to achieve the 90 percent degree of enrichment required for an atomic bomb in just a few weeks, said Heinonen. Iran has also mastered the technology of extracting metallic uranium from uranium hexafluoride, which is used in the enrichment centrifuges, which is required for the manufacture of nuclear warheads.
“You have all the elements together and have the necessary know-how,” says Heinonen. One Return to the Vienna nuclear agreement of 2015 would therefore not be feasible in a situation that is increasingly slipping. A fundamental revision of the agreement referred to as the JCPOA would therefore be required, should such an agreement be agreed again.
In this context, Heinonen also called for the UN Security Council to be involved.