Iran's nuclear weapons programme

The Rasmussen poll showing that a large majority of Americans do not believe that Iran has stopped its nuclear weapons programme seems to rather miss the point.

As I understand the NIE report, that is not what the report says. It says that Iran has (probably) stopped its weaponisation programme. To build nuclear weapons Iran needs two things: sufficient high grade uranium and warhead technology. Up until 2003 they seemed to working on both. According to the latest NIE report they probably stopped the warhead programme in 2003.

But this does not delay the datee on which they could launch nuclear weapons by a single day. The warhead programme is the easy bit. The high grade uranium is hard. They can reactivate the warhead programme any time they like, and probably still have the warheads ready before the uranium is ready.

Suspending the programme in 2003 only means that they avoided completing one part of the programme 5-10 years before the other part. The date on which they can have both parts complete is unchanged. While it could possibly be 2009, the chances are it will be between 2010 and 2015.

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