Vital Perspective's sources inform us that the IAEA is urgently warning of the need to reassess the timeline on Iran's nuclear program in light of the following:
- Iran has assembled and is possibly already operating the 164-centrifuge cascade
- Iran has moved canisters of UF6 to the cascade site
- Iran has indicated its intention to operate the cascade over a two-to-three week period, and if successful, to move towards assembly of a 3,000 centrifuge unit.
As we have said before, 3,000 centrifuges could produce enough highly-enriched uranium for a bomb. The IAEA also expressed alarm over Iran's technological capabilities, which are more developed then previously assumed, and its willingness to skip phases in the enrichment process.
Unfortunately, as we have been reporting, the pace of diplomacy is not keeping up with Iran's accelerated drive, as the Russians (and Chinese) continue stalling despite repeated attempts by the U.S., Britain and France to soften the Security Council proposals in an effort to reach consensus.
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Wednesday that American threats are no more than propaganda, and that a U.S. military attack is not likely, especially in view of U.S. requests for Iran's assistance in solving the crisis in Iraq. He also expressed confidence that the Security Council will fail to reach agreement on sanctions. This statement is particularly significant in view of the buzz in Washington regarding a U.S. dialogue with Iran. Mottaki leaves little doubt that Tehran sees U.S. calls for dialogue as a sign of weakness.