Israeli officials believe that an agreement between Iran and other world nations is possible, but whatever agreement is formulated will be on Iran’s terms: halt the enrichment of uranium to a level of 20% and wait for the appropriate moment to make the jump that will enable military-grade enrichment.
“As it seems now, Iran is successfully fooling the whole world,” a senior defense official told IsraelDefense.
On Wednesday’s G8 meeting in Chicago, the G8 nations are expected to recognize Iran’s right to establish civilian nuclear reactors. In return for this recognition, Iran will commit to refraining from enriching uranium for military purposes.
“This is precisely what the Iranians wish to achieve at this stage, in order to avoid the intensification of sanctions without actually giving up their nuclear project,” the senior official estimated.
Israel believes that the Iranian strategy is to enrich a sufficient amount of uranium for at least one nuclear bomb (approximately 250 kg) to a level of 20%. Iran presently has approximately 120 kg of 20% enriched uranium. The transition from 20% to 90% that is needed to create a bomb is merely a matter of time. With its 10,000 centrifuges, Iran is expected to need no more than a few weeks to achieve the required results.
According to this strategy, Iran might produce the sufficient amount needed for a bomb, and then halt the enrichment process. The short transition from 20% enriched uranium to a bomb will be done at its own convenience, and will be carried out at a speed that will not leave enough time to foil the bomb.
The Israeli stance is that the Iranian nuclear bomb needs to be halted before Iran reaches the threshold – the point at which they will only need a few weeks to create a bomb (also because they will be able to carry out the transition between enrichment levels far from the eyes and ears of UN inspectors).
In related news, Iran is expected to conduct a space launch of a Fajr-2 satellite intended to provoke the world on the day of the G8 discussions.