Iran is capable of producing enough weapons-grade uranium to arm a nuclear bomb within two to four months, a respected U.S. think tank has warned.
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) however did not make a judgment on whether Iran plans to turn its enrichment capabilities toward weapons making.
But, in its report, the think tank drew a clear distinction between Tehran ‘s ability to make the fissile core of warhead by producing 25 kilograms (about 55 pounds) of weapons-grade uranium from its lower enriched stockpiles and the warhead itself.
It also pointed out that Iran would face serious ‘engineering challenges’, and much longer delays, before it would be able to use the material in an atomic warhead, CBS News reports.
“Despite work it may have done in the past, Iran would need many additional months to manufacture a nuclear device suitable for underground testing and even longer to make a reliable warhead for a ballistic missile,” the report said.
The ISIS said any attempt to ‘break out’ into weapons-grade uranium enrichment would be quickly detected by the US and the International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA).
“With Washington likely to respond forcefully to any “break-out” attempt, Iran is unlikely to take such a risk during the next year or so,” the ISIS, which often advises Congress and other branches of U.S. government on Iran’s nuclear program, said.