CIA: Iran Expanded its Nuclear Program in 2011

In a recent report presented before the US Congress, the CIA noted that despite sanctions, Iran is continuing to enrich uranium at a low level approaching 20%. Tehran is also continuing to develop its missile program for various ranges

In 2011, Iran expanded its nuclear program, and continued to enrich uranium and develop its nuclear facilities – thus stated a report from the CIA that was presented to the US Congress.

According to the report, Iran has successfully produced approximately 4,900 kg of low-level enriched uranium, and continued its development of the nuclear facilities constructed throughout the country, as well as is heavy water research. The report determined that Iran's actions were carried out in contrast to the UN decisions that Iran must halt their nuclear activities.

The CIA further determined that Iran has continued the development of the underground facilities in Natanz, and even developed more advanced centrifuges, which were already tested at an unknown destination in the country. Iran’s stockpiles possess approximately 80 kg of enriched uranium at a level approaching 20% (a level suitable for a nuclear bomb).

The report also noted that while the number of centrifuges in Iran’s possession has dropped from 8,900 to 8,000, the number of active centrifuges has skyrocketed from 3,800 in August 2010 to a present figure of 6,200.

In addition, according to the report, one of the most important facilities in Iran’s nuclear program is the Fordo facility near the city of Qom, where Iran is enriching uranium at a level of “nearly 20%.”

The CIA is also stating that while the Bushehr nuclear reactor started producing nuclear fuel last year, it is still not acting at full capacity. However, it should be noted that the report does not deal with the topic of Iran’s military nuclear program. While it provides figures of the country’s uranium stockpiles, it does not associate this stockpile, or any other, with the Islamic Republic’s plans for developing military nuclear capabilities.

The agency also determined that Tehran is continuing the development and expansion of its missile program. They are continuing the development of short and medium-ranged missiles, and focusing on the ability to launch missiles into space as well – so that they can develop missiles with exceptionally long ranges.