New intel report: Worst-case scenario — Iranian nukes by 2010

posted at 9:47 pm on April 26, 2007 by Allahpundit

Some say two years, others say four years. U.S. intelligence splits the difference.

Average it out and we’re staring at a full-blown, white-knuckle Middle East meltdown circa late 2009. If the IAF chooses to wait that long.

CBS News has learned that a new intelligence report says Iran has overcome technical difficulties in enriching uranium and could have enough bomb-grade material for a single nuclear weapon in less than three years.

U.S. intelligence officials caution that before Iran could meet or beat that 2010 date, it would have to make further technical progress in operating a uranium enrichment plant now under construction, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

As a result, there is no change in the official estimate that it will take Iran until 2015 to become a nuclear power. But David Albright, a leading expert, thinks that doesn’t give Iranian scientists enough credit…

Israel is the country most threatened by the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon. Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel says this latest intelligence would increase the chances of an Israeli strike launched with American-built warplanes.

“The Israelis have long believed that Iran is closer than U.S. intelligence believes it is,” Riedel says. “If they now hear that the Americans think it’s getting closer as well, it puts pressure on Israel to take its own action.”

Iran has 1,300+ centrifuges installed right now, which is enough to produce a bomb in 23-29 months — roughly the period that would take us to 2010 — if the centrifuges are being operated correctly. They’re planning to install another 1,700 within the next few months, though; assuming they’re not blowing smoke about having them and that they can operate those correctly, too, they can enrich enough uranium for a bomb within 8-10 months. The U.S. intel estimate must be based on the theory that Iran won’t figure out how to work the centrifuges until 2009 or so, when they’ll rev up all 3,000 and start churning out HEU in earnest. Otherwise the three-year timeline makes no sense.


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Well ,then, giving them Iraq as a form of appeasement makes perfectly good sense .

bbz123 on April 26, 2007 at 9:55 PM

Maybe we’ll luck out and they’ll blow themselves up with their ONE bomb.

Then it’s back to the drawing board, mohammad.

Bob's Kid on April 26, 2007 at 10:03 PM

when will the world wake up? the first nuke test? the world didn’t care about NK’s test. the first missile test? the world didn’t care about NK’s test. the first ICBM? The world is asking to be destroyed, isnt it?

lorien1973 on April 26, 2007 at 10:15 PM

Bob’s Kid on April 26, 2007 at 10:03 PM

Given their penchant for blowing themselves up, this makes sense.

…a new intelligence report says Iran has overcome technical difficulties in enriching uranium and could have enough bomb-grade material for a single nuclear weapon in less than three years.

What intelligence report is CBS quoting? I guess they don’t say.

thedecider on April 26, 2007 at 10:18 PM

CBS is quoting from Dan Blather……….LOL

bones47 on April 26, 2007 at 10:40 PM

Sounds like right now is the right time to turn Iran into a self lite parking lot………….

Rock on……………..

doriangrey on April 26, 2007 at 10:41 PM

Yes, the democrats would like to surrender Iraq to Iran to ensure they have enough money from the oil fields to finance our destruction and then say that it is Bush’s fault. Way to go Dems! Goood thinking!

JustTruth101 on April 26, 2007 at 11:07 PM

Well, you know the Mayan calendar ends at 2012…

CliffHanger on April 26, 2007 at 11:18 PM

If conservatives don’t soon find their backbone, a few years won’t make much difference, with the only question being which will be President when the bombs start to fly, Hillary or Chelsea.

petefrt on April 26, 2007 at 11:20 PM

arguably the best way to potentially deal with them is when they are operating, and remove power to them… tends to cause the machines to come apart, and make a mess of whereever they are located

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on April 26, 2007 at 11:23 PM

arguably the best way to potentially deal with them is when they are operating, and remove power to them… tends to cause the machines to come apart, and make a mess of whereever they are located

You sneaky devil!

/sometimes the simple solutions are the best ones

Bob's Kid on April 26, 2007 at 11:29 PM

Estimate brought to you by the same people who didn’t even know that Pakistan was even working on one.

Thing is, what are they basing their assessments on? I’m voting on tea leaves.

- The Cat

MirCat on April 26, 2007 at 11:39 PM

Canadian Imperialist Running Dog on April 26, 2007 at 11:23 PM

The primary power source probably has as much protection/security as the machines themselves. Multiple backup power sources would need to be dealt with too.

News2Use on April 26, 2007 at 11:59 PM

This is what we are talking about, right? Give them two, three, four, five more years and then they will have one, right? Because they are stronger, have the higher morale ground, influence the world in a positive note, right? Better than the United States of America, right? This is what we are talking about……….. right?

PinkyBigglesworth on April 27, 2007 at 12:41 AM

If the Pakistani crazies can do it why not the Persian crazies. We’re in for a wild ride folks. The exit question is what are the Iranians going to do AFTER a themonuclear exchange and their 12th madi turns out to be a big no show? Maybe the Black Muslim mothership that’s in orbit will land and straighten it all out.

Mojave Mark on April 27, 2007 at 1:10 AM

By the way, when this bomb went off, it was in the hands of our enemy, it still is, but dwarfs what is out there today…………. But Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the Democrats can “talk” our way out of the war, especially if we remove our troops from the one arena of the globe that is spawning the hatred against us, and we are actually making a difference, but you didn’t hear that from the main stream media…….. sleep well…..

PinkyBigglesworth on April 27, 2007 at 1:20 AM

Western intelligence’s track record has been sketchy over the last 30 years, and that’s pretty generous on my part. They either vastly over estimate an enemy’s capability (the USSR) or underrate the danger (Islamists).

The question isn’t so much if Iran is getting a nuke, it’s when. So, sometime between next year and the next decade. It doesn’t matter, because the CIA doesn’t have much in the way of credibility to predict these things, in my opinion.

The US is hamstrung right now with Iraq, and the best way to fix that is take out Iran, regardless of possible nuclear capabilities they may have in the future. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do much for quite some time, based on the political situation.

Krydor on April 27, 2007 at 1:59 AM

I say we’ll have to let them strike us first, then we can eradicate them forever.

Circumstances in the self-loathing West decree that no other course will be popularly acceptible.

They will not permit us killing a clearly poisonous snake (Iran) because the last snake we killed (Iraq) wasn’t as poisnous as claimed.

Guilt-riddled idiots like to get hurt real bad before they act against obvious threats.

It satisfies their demented sense of moral superiority.

profitsbeard on April 27, 2007 at 2:07 AM

there is no change in the official estimate that it will take Iran until 2015 to become a nuclear power

They either vastly over estimate an enemy’s capability (the USSR) or underrate the danger (Islamists).

We did it in less than 4 years, basically starting from scratch, in the middle of a desert. So what’s stopping them now that the instruction manual is complete?

BacaDog on April 27, 2007 at 7:10 AM

Allah,
No middle east meltdown in 09′, or for anytime the next President, Hellary RodHAM Clinton is in office. During her regime, AIDs will be cured, poverty will be a thing of the past, there will be no homelessness, she’ll fix global warming, there will be no more war, all disease will be eradicated and the lion will lay down with the lamb.

mountainmanbob on April 27, 2007 at 8:20 AM

Some say two years, others say four years. U.S. intelligence splits the difference.

And it’s all based on the assumption that Iran has acquired no HEU from outside sources.

RedWinged Blackbird on April 27, 2007 at 8:28 AM

Allah,

The NIE estimate is not 2015 but “early-to-mid next decade” which is from about 2011-2015. I don’t see why keep missing this. So the 2010 estimate is not that far off. Of course, there are still a lot of “ifs.” For one, Iran has not yet demonstrated the capability to run centrifuges 24/7. Nor have they apparently solved their UF6 purity problems.

And they could not enrich bomb-grade material at Natanz without showing their intent. They didn’t buy enough centrifuge kits to run a clandestine program, so if they do have one (which seems likely), they’ll have to rely on domestically produced and built centrifuges, which pushes the timeline out further.

NPP on April 27, 2007 at 10:18 AM

If Iran is allowed to produce “the bomb” I think Gorebot and crew and the other moonbats will learn the real meaning of Global Warming.

SPF 50+ anyone?

SPIFF1669 on April 27, 2007 at 10:58 AM

Well, you know the Mayan calendar ends at 2012…

CliffHanger on April 26, 2007 at 11:18 PM

This was just listening to this on George Noory’s show last night.

Spooky. :-o

Bill C on April 27, 2007 at 1:37 PM