Iran's Secret Nuke Facility Explained

by Michael Crowley | September 25, 2009

A senior White House official, speaking at a background briefing today, explains the grounds for Obama's assertion this morning that "the size and configuration of this [Iranian] facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program":

Our information is that the facility is designed to hold about 3,000 centrifuge machines.  Now, that's not a large enough number to make any sense from a commercial standpoint.  It cannot produce a significant quantity of low-enriched uranium.  But if you want to use the facility in order to produce a small amount of weapons-grade uranium, enough for a bomb or two a year, it's the right size.  And our information is that the Iranians began this facility with the intent that it be secret, and therefore giving them an option of producing weapons-grade uranium without the international community knowing about it. 

Bonus insidiousness: The nuclear facility was constructed about 20 miles outside of Qom, which is Iran's holiest city, making any potental military strike against it in the event of its exposure a cultural-political nightmare for the West and an excuse to cry "holy war."

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