Report: New Nuclear Path in Iran Increases Likelihood of Israeli Strike


arak-ir-40-heavy-water-reactor-in-iranIran could begin producing weapons-grade plutonium by next summer, using nuclear technology more easily exposed to foreign attacks and thus increasing the likelihood of an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, US and European officials told The Wall Street Journal.

According to The WSJ report, the West believes Iran could use the development of a heavy water nuclear reactor to produce plutonium for a bomb. The heavy-water reactor is an easier target to hit than the underground facilities that currently house Iran’s uranium-enrichment facilities.

Iran has notified the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, that it plans to make the reactor-located in the northwestern city of Arak-operational by the second half of 2014 and could begin testing it later this year.

Spent fuel from the reactor contains plutonium-which can serve as the raw material for an explosive device. India and Pakistan have built plutonium-based bombs, as has North Korea.

Once completed, US and European officials believe the facility will be capable of producing enough plutonium for two nuclear bombs a year.

Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons and claims the Arak facility will produce isotopes used in medical treatments, U.N. officials have said.

“There’s no question that the reactor and its heavy water are more vulnerable targets than the enrichment plants,” Gary Samore, who served as President Barack Obama’s top adviser on nuclear issues during his first term, told The WSJ. “This could be another factor in [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s calculations in deciding how long to wait before launching military operations.”


{ Israel}


  1. They have been saying for years that Iran could have a bomb any month now. Clearly whatever info we get is not reliable. Also the same about attacks.

  2. #1: The info “we” get is from talking heads, pundits, and intelligence analyst wannabes. It has been my experience that this info – which is usually leaked either on purpose for a particular effect, or maliciously by people without the entire picture – is about as accuracte as throwing dice.

    On the other hand, the information the Israeli and US Governments get is more accurate (although certainly not perfect). It is on that information that an informed decision will be made to attack Iran (or do something else to guarantee they don’t get the bomb).