debkafile: The new uranium deposits found in central Iran allow Tehran to enrich more uranium with reduced dependence on imported ore. Tehran again
Mohammed Ghannadi, deputy chief for nuclear research presented the “good news” to a press conference in Tehran Tuesday, May 2, while in Paris, representatives of the five permanent Security Council members and Germany discussed the next steps after Iran spurned the UN call to halt enrichment.
The new sites of “economically viable” uranium deposits were found in central Iran’s Khoshoomi region, Charchooleh and Narigan, according to Ghannadi.
Iran’s principle source until now had been the Saghand mine, near Kashan, which has a reported capacity of 132,000 tons of ore a year.
debkafile‘s sources say the Saghand ore is of poor quality, not up to supporting the six to eight nuclear reactors president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a month ago claimed Iran aspires to build in the next two decades. Tehran has spent many billions of dollars on a large-scale uranium enrichment program to fuel this ambitious project and was drawing up long-term contracts to import uranium ore from South Africa.
The discovery of the new deposits reduces the Islamic Republic’s dependence on outside sources which could be susceptible to American pressure and which could refuse to go through with sales.
Regarding potential US military action, Revolutionary Guards commander, Rear Admiral Mohammad-Ebrahim Dehqani said Tuesday: Whenever America does something evil, “the first place that we target will be Israel.”
Also in Tehran the head of the national atomic body, Gholamreza Aghazadeh claimed the level of enrichment carried out in Iran was 4.8%. Above 5%, he said, was “not on Iran’s agenda.” None of the experts credit this claim as anything more than another Iranian attempt to hoodwink the world.
He added that construction work and preparation of a cascade of 3,000 centrifuges to be installed by the end of this year is underway.
Iran announced at the end of April that it had enriched up to 3.6%. The level would have to be at least 80% to make nuclear weapons.
debkafile‘s Iranian sources add, however, that Tehran will very soon add 400 advanced P-2 centrifuges to the 1.600 already in place. This would be a giant leap forward as the P-2 type could triple or quadruple the speed of enrichment and accelerate progress towards the production of a bomb.
Our sources add: Week by week, a hitherto concealed breakthrough in Iran’s nuclear program comes to light. The cumulative effect is a build-up towards a militarization process that at some point will become irreversible – unless it is stopped. Iranian progress to that point appears to be accelerating.