Iran Nuclear Program Has a Potential 3 Month Breakout But Loses a Lead Scientist

A top Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed by five gunmen.

There have been successful assassinations of leading Iranian nuclear scientists since 2010.

This is the first successful assassination since 2012.

The Iranian government has difficulty recruiting scientists for nuclear research.

Arms Control Report on Iran’s Nuclear Program

The IAEA concluded that Iran’s uranium stockpile is now 12 times larger than permitted under the old nuclear agreement.

The IAEA’s Sept. 4 report notes that Iran’s stockpile grew by 533 kilograms since the Agency’s June 5 report, a change slightly smaller than the 550-kilogram increase between the March and June quarterly reports and the 648-kilogram increase between the November 2019 and March reports. Importantly, the IAEA report also confirms Iran has not exceeded a 4.5 percent uranium-235 enrichment level since it first breached the 3.67 percent limit in June 2019.

The current breakout estimate for Iran to produce one bomb’s worth of highly enriched uranium is about 3-4 months, down from the 12 months when the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was fully implemented. However, Iran has now produced about enough uranium enriched from 2-4.5 percent for a second bomb.

Iran has begun to construct a hall for the manufacturing of centrifuges in “the heart of the mountains” near Natanz.

The JCPOA would have lasted from Oct 2015- Oct 2025. If Iran had fully complied with the terms.

SOURCES- IAEA, Arms Control, AP
Written By Brian Wang,