Iran's bombIran to enrich uranium to 20 percent

Published 9 June 2011

Iran said it was planning to begin enriching uranium to 20 percent, bringing its stock closer to bomb-grade level; it will also shift its enrichment activities from Natanz to Qom

A year-and-a-half ago informers inside Iran gave information to a U.K.-based Iranian dissident group about a well-concealed uranium enrichment facility Iran had built near the holy city of Qom. The facility was unknown to the IAEA, and intensified speculation that Iran has created two parallel nuclear programs: a visible program, monitored by the IAEA, for peaceful purposes, and a secret one for weapons production. Iran was forced to reveal the existence of the Qom facility, but limited access by IAEA inspectors to it. The other day Iran said it was shifting its higher grade uranium enrichment work from Natanz site to Fordo near Qom, in central Iran, and that it aims to triple the production capacity of nuclear fuel. Haaretz reports that Iran’s nuclear energy chief and vice president Fereidoun Abbasi said Tehran plans soon to set up the more advanced type of centrifuges, suitable for enriching uranium for up to 20 percent.