IAEA Head: Iran Can Build a Bomb

A former nuclear inspector for the United Nations' IAEA is warning Iran already has the capacity to produce a nuclear bomb.

Tags: Iran
Chana Ya'ar , | updated: 8:12 PM

Nuclear cloud
Nuclear cloud
Israel news photo: US Navy

A former nuclear inspector for the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is warning that Iran already has the capacity to produce a nuclear bomb.

Olli Heinonen revealed the information in an interview with the French Le Monde magazine on Thursday.

According to Reuters, quoting the interview, Heinonen was an expert on Iran’s nuclear program during his tenure as the deputy director-general of the IAEA, heading the agency’s nuclear safeguards arm.

The Finnish official said the Islamic Republic currently possesses three tons of low-enriched uranium which has the potential to be used in building an atomic bomb.

Interviewed just prior to stepping down from his post this August for personal reasons, Heinonen said, “In theory, it is enough to make one or two nuclear weapons. But it makes no sense to go all the way to the final step, when one only has just enough material for two weapons.”

‘Peaceful’ Claims, But Galloping Pace

Tehran is continuing to insist that its intentions are peaceful, although intelligence officials in Israel, the U.S. and other Western nations are convinced Iran is racing to build a nuclear weapon.

Earlier this month, the Islamic Republic activated a second centrifuge cascade, linking it to one activated in February, a move the IAEA said has enabled Iran to produce enriched uranium at up to 20 percent in the two linked cascades.

Both are located at the Natanz facility.

In addition, Ali Akbar Saleh, the head of Iran’s atomic program, announced 10 days ago the country plans to build a third uranium enrichment plant within the year. Construction of a second plant is already underway at a mountain site in Fordo.