Published On: Sun, Apr 14th, 2024

Iran has enough uranium for 12 bombs after attack on Israel last night | World | News

Iran has launched its first direct military attack against Israel, firing over 100 bomb-carrying drones and escalating tensions in the region. This comes after Iran threatened retaliation following an airstrike, widely attributed to Israel, that destroyed Iran’s consulate in Syria and resulted in the death of 12 individuals, including two high-ranking Iranian generals.

Adding to the growing fears of a potential World War Three, a former UN weapons inspector warned earlier this year that Iran could have enough uranium to produce 12 nuclear bombs within just five months. David Albright, an American physicist and weapons expert, stated that Iran’s uranium enrichment is a “hair’s breadth from 90 percent” – the level necessary for creating a nuclear weapon.

This alarming revelation coincides with US President Joe Biden‘s announcement that three American servicemen were killed and several others injured in a drone attack by an Iran-backed militia in Jordan. These are the first US casualties in a series of strikes on American forces across the Middle East by Iranian-backed militias, further increasing the risk of escalation amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Mr Albright has starkly stated that Iran’s scientists are now equipped with the knowledge necessary to construct a catastrophic nuclear weapon, an “unfortunate reality” that puts global security at risk. He disclosed that within just one month, Iran could amass enough radioactive material for six bombs, and this number could double in five months.

In his report for the Institute for Science and International Security, which he established, Mr Albright wrote: “The unfortunate reality is that Iran already knows how to build nuclear weapons, although there are some unfinished tasks related to the actual construction of them.”.

He warned: “Today, it would need only about a week to produce enough for its first nuclear weapon. It could have enough weapon-grade uranium for six weapons in one month, and after five months of producing weapon-grade uranium, it could have enough for twelve.”

Mr Albright highlighted recent international concern, noting that as late as December 28 last year, the United States and European allies condemned Iran’s uranium enrichment programme. This followed Iran’s move to increase its enriched uranium production from 60 percent to a perilous 90 percent.

According to Mr Albright, if Iran continues on this trajectory, it could soon possess an arsenal of dozens of nuclear weapons.

Mr Albright warned: “This level of enrichment is a hair’s breadth from 90 percent enriched or weapon-grade uranium, the enrichment level most desired for making nuclear weapons. That is also the enrichment level used in Iran’s nuclear weapons designs, which it nearly perfected during its crash nuclear weapons program in the early 2000s, codenamed the Amad Plan.”

He further cautioned that Iran might ‘accelerate’ their efforts to produce a few “crude nuclear weapons” within the first half of this year. Alternatively, he noted they could persist with their ‘Amad nuclear weapons program’, potentially enabling them to “serially produce annually many warheads”, though this route may prove more complex and time-consuming.

Albright elaborated: “The accelerated program can be accomplished in a matter of six months and would involve activities conducted in far smaller, more disguisable facilities. This path is a more assured way for Iran to establish itself as a nuclear weapons power while leaving little time for the international community to react.”

As tensions escalate in the Middle East after three US soldiers were killed in a drone strike in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border, President Joe Biden today vowed that the United States will “hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing.”

He remarked: “While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq.”

The onslaught against American forces has escalated since the onset of Israel‘s conflict with Hamas in Gaza, with US troops stationed in Iraq and Syria enduring drone and missile strikes on their bases.

This recent assault in Jordan is unprecedented as it marks the first instance of American troops being targeted there amidst the ongoing war. President Biden, who was in Columbia, South Carolina at the time, received a comprehensive briefing on Sunday morning from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and principal deputy national security adviser Jon Finer.

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