Daily Israel Report

Report: Iran Could Have Nuclear Bomb in One Year

Iran has the technology to create a nuclear weapon within a year, Western intelligence sources told the London Times.
By Avraham Zuroff
First Publish: 8/3/2009, 7:35 AM

(archive)

Iran has the technology to create a nuclear weapon within a year, the London Times reported Monday. If Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei gives the go-ahead to build a bomb, "We assess they have to enrich low-enriched uranium to highly-enriched uranium at the Natanz plant, which could take six months, depending on how many centrifuges are operating. We don’t know if the decision was made yet,” Western intelligence sources said. It would take another six months to assemble a warhead.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said last week that Israel still views a military strike against Iran’s nuclear plant as a viable option in case talks fail. Senior U.S. officials Robert Gates and General James Jones, who met with Israeli leaders last week, gave Iran a one-month deadline to make a positive move about its nuclear ambitions.

Pentagon to Develop ‘Bunker-Buster’ Bomb
Meanwhile, the U.S. Pentagon announced on Sunday its intention to accelerate the building of a bomb that could penetrate reinforced bunkers in Iran.

The Pentagon revealed its intention to accelerate the development of its 30,000 pound “bunker-buster” bomb. The non-nuclear, Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is being developed by Northrop Grumman to serve as a deterrent to the nuclear threat of Iran and Korea.

"It's very possible that the Pentagon wants to send a signal to various countries, particularly Iran and North Korea, that the United States is developing a viable military option against their nuclear programs," Kenneth Katzman, an Iran expert at the research division of the U.S. Congress stated. Nevertheless, Katzman clarified that the bomb development wasn’t against any specific nuclear program.