ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Iranian Nukes

So, this story has me worried:

Iran Could Produce Nuclear Bomb in 16 Days, U.S. Says (Update2)

April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Iran, defying United Nations Security Council demands to halt its nuclear program, may be capable of making a nuclear bomb within 16 days, a U.S. State Department official said.

Iran will move to ``industrial scale'' uranium enrichment involving 54,000 centrifuges at its Natanz plant, the Associated Press quoted deputy nuclear chief Mohammad Saeedi as telling state-run television today.

``Using those 50,000 centrifuges they could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in 16 days,'' Stephen Rademaker, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, told reporters today in Moscow.

Rademaker was reacting to a statement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said yesterday the country had succeeded in enriching uranium on a small scale for the first time, using 164 centrifuges. That announcement defies demands by the UN Security Council that Iran shut down its nuclear program this month.

The U.S. fears Iran is pursuing a nuclear program to make weapons, while Iran says it is intent on purely civilian purposes, to provide energy. Saeedi said 54,000 centrifuges will be able to enrich uranium to provide fuel for a 1,000-megawat nuclear power plant similar to the one Russia is finishing in southern Iran, AP reported.

Of course, assuming their 50,000 centrifuge claim is accurate, this means they could a nuclear bomb within 16 days. Let's cut the number by 1/2... 25,000 centrifuges means 32 days.

Of course, even if they had enough material to make a bomb, it would take them some time to create the device, and determine the best way to deliver it. So, let's add on some weeks... or months. We're still talking within the year, right?

Of course, some in the blogosphere see this news as just another election year trick... or, dare I say, just Another Rovian Conspiracy:
Bush administration flunky is now claiming Iran will have a nuke in 16 days. Sort of like how Iraq was supposedly just moments away from launching nuke attacks. Look, I know you guys want badly to win the election this fall, but damn it how many people do you have to kill to keep the Republican majority?

And somehow, we're supposed to think that they're serious about foreign policy and national security?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler