Foreign and Defense Policy, Middle East and North Africa

Iranians Steadily Enriching Uranium

In January, Secretary Clinton told an audience in the United Arab Emirates that Iran’s nuclear program has experienced “technological problems that have made [Iran] slow down its timetables.” Iranian officials acknowledged last year that a software program disrupted the operation of a limited number of centrifuge machines at the Natanz enrichment facility. Yesterday’s Washington Post interview with the head of the UN’s atomic energy watchdog, however, warrants a second-look:

Q: How badly was Iran’s centrifuge program affected by the [Stuxnet cyber] worm from 2009?
A: Iran is somehow producing uranium enriched to 3.5 percent and 20 percent. They are producing it steadily, constantly.

Q: The amount of enriched uranium has not been affected?
A: The production is very steady.

Yukiya Amano’s comments are a sober reminder that tactical successes in disrupting Iran’s nuclear progress remain fleeting, and that such efforts cannot substitute for a strategy to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat. See AEI’s IranTracker for more on Iran, and keep an eye out for a forthcoming AEI report on the challenges of containing a nuclear Iran.

Image by Wikemedia Commons.

Comments are closed.