The Iranian nuclear program: Timelines, data, and estimates

FINDINGS OF THE NOVEMBER 2012 IAEA REPORT

 

Additional Centrifuge Installation

  • Iran increased its enrichment capacity by installing additional centrifuges at its declared sites between August and November 2012. The hardened Fordow facility is now at maximum capacity (2,784 centrifuges). Of the 2,784, 696 centrifuges are currently enriching at Fordow and 696 are ready to begin enriching immediately. The IAEA also noted the addition of first-generation and advanced centrifuges, the latter undergoing testing, at the Natanz facility.

 

Increasing Enriched Uranium Stockpiles

  • Iran continues to produce low- (<5%) and medium-enriched (near 20%) uranium at historically high rates. It has now allocated roughly 40% of its medium-enriched uranium for conversion to reactor fuel plates; only a small fraction of the allocated material, however, has been packaged into fuel plates and placed into a reactor core as of August 2012.   

 

Parchin Facility Inspection

  • Iran continues to deny the IAEA access to the Parchin facility, where the agency believes Iran conducted experiments related to nuclear weapons development. The IAEA noted that, even if it is given access to the site, its ability to “conduct effective verification will have been seriously undermined” by physical disruption and sanitization undertaken by Iran at the facility in 2012.

 

Weaponization

  • Iran continues to stonewall the IAEA regarding its weaponization activities. The agency reiterated its assessment of Iran’s work on nuclear weapons development: “the information indicates that, prior to the end of 2003 the activities took place under a structured program; that some continued after 2003; and that some may still be ongoing.”

 

Arak Reactor Timeline

  • Iran told the IAEA that it will begin operating the Arak heavy water reactor later than previously planned. The reactor, now scheduled for an early 2014 launch, will provide Iran with a separate pathway to acquiring fissile material for nuclear weapons in the form of weapons-grade plutonium.   

 

Read the full text at Critical Threats.

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About the Author

 

Maseh
Zarif
  • Maseh Zarif is the deputy director and Iran research Team Lead for the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. He works on national security issues related to the Middle East and South Asia, with a particular focus on Iran’s nuclear program and its regional activities. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, National Review Online, and Foreign Policy, among others, and has appeared on CNN and Fox. Before joining AEI, he worked for several years in corporate finance as an analyst and a consultant.

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