8 thoughts on “Bibi’s Climb-Down from Iran Attack: Concedes Iran Using 20% Enriched Uranium for Medical Purposes – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. RS: “I don’t know which story is true.”

    Well, yeah, you are right to say that it’s hard to know the reason behind that very impressive back-flip by Amos Harel over at haaretz. It was as unexpected as it is likely to come as a bombshell to most Israelis, and I have no doubt that someone Very Close To Bibi put him up to it.

    But at least be fair about the *factual* component of that article i.e. the most recent IAEA report on Iran did indeed note that the Iranian stockpile of 20% uranium shrank, and shrank quite considerably.

    And, furthermore, that IAEA report leaves you in no doubt about why that stockpile decreased i.e. it shrunk because the Iranians did exactly what they said they were going to do, which is to use that stockpile to make reactor fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor.

    Those are verifiable facts, and there is no need to question them.

  2. Amid all the posturing about whether or not there will be an Israel/US attack on Iran, the bottom line is pretty simple.

    If such an attack could be carried out at low cost it would have happened years ago. As long as Iran has the capability to make Israel pay a heavy human cost for such an attack it is not going to happen, all posturing to the contrary. The Israelis can dish it out but cannot take it. If Iran ever losses this capacity an attack is highly probable no matter who wins the election.

  3. How does 20% enriched uranium play a part in medical research, unless it is to fuel a reactor to make other isotopes? Those could have medical and industrial uses, but there’s going to be some plutonium in the future of that fuel, too.

    If Bibi’s original premise was right, this doesn’t change anything.

    Industrial radioactive sources are used in various tests and alignment procedures for oil and gas wells: perhaps someone, somewhere, wants Iran’s production to ramp up a bit in the future?

    I’d be more wary of a small-scale research reactor than some of the halls of gleaming centrifuges that have been paraded before our eyes and which have so incensed the Israeli and American right. Especially as the former is closest to the route which Israel herself took to obtain nuclear weapons.

    Unless what they are trying to prevent is not a simple Iranian nuclear weapon, but only a more complex two-stage device which might need to achieve the higher initial compression which highly enriched uranium allows over plutonium. (You can compress it for slightly longer before anything happens and there are ways in which this is better for a fission-fusion device.)

    What you could be seeing here, is a decision to tolerate basic single-stage 20Kt Iranian nukes are long as there are no compact 100Kt+ missile warheads or megaton-range bombs.

    Frankly, if Iran has ever had an ambition to make basic 20Kt single-stage devices, they’ve already done so, years past. It’s more or less impossible to stop an industrial power with a heavy water reactor doing this, and none of the panoply of mass enrichment is really needed.

  4. 37. Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant: As previously reported,38 Iran has combined into one facility the
    activities involving the conversion of UF6 enriched up to 20% U-235 into U3O8 and the manufacture of
    fuel assemblies made of fuel plates containing U3O8. Between the start of conversion activities on
    17 December 2011 and 12 August 2012, Iran has fed into the process 71.25 kg of UF6 enriched up to
    20% U-235 and produced 31.1 kg of uranium enriched up to 20% U-235 in the form of U3O8.


    the current report pdf is the first one at the the link. I quoted the where the specifics in the report state that 71 kg of UF6 is converted into 31 kg of the U308 fuel. it is a process that converts a gaseous form of enriched uranium into a solid form. its conversion back to a gas so it can be enriched to a higher percentage is an intensive, technical process. This was all covered the time the report came out. I remember reading several analyses that unequivocally stated Iran’s conversion of the 20% into solid fuel was and is a trust-building maneuver.

    1. Gareth Porter:

      “The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report made public Thursday reveals that Iran has actually reduced the amount of 20-percent enriched uranium available for any possible “breakout” to weapons grade enrichment over the last three months rather than increasing it.

      Contrary to the impression conveyed by most news media coverage, the report provides new evidence that Iran’s enrichment strategy is aimed at enhancing its bargaining position in negotiations with the United States rather than amassing such a breakout capability.”


  5. You have to love how it’s phrased: ‘We, the Israeli’s, now confirm that the IAEA has not published complete and absolute tripe. Thank you.”

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