Reuters’ Highly Enriched Lie about the November IAEA Report and Iran’s Stockpile of Uranium

by Feb 21, 2013Foreign Policy0 comments

The claim that the IAEA report from November suggested that Iran was “closer to the ability to produce the 90 percent uranium needed to provide fissile material for atomic bombs” is categorically false.

Reuters reports that,

According to an IAEA report released in mid-November, Iran has a stockpile of 134.9 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium, bringing it closer to the ability to produce the 90 percent uranium needed to provide fissile material for atomic bombs.

This sentence is nonsense.

First of all, the amount of uranium Iran enriches to 20% has nothing to do with whether it is capable of enriching to 90% or not. Iran might enrich a small amount of uranium to 20% and yet still be capable of technologically capable of enriching to 90%, or it may enrich many tons to 20% and yet still not have the capability to enrich to weapons-grade.

Probably, this is just sloppy writing, and what the author meant was that the stockpile of 134.9 kg of 20% enriched uranium brought Iran closer to having the amount of uranium that would hypothetically be required to produce a bomb if it was enriched further to 90%.

Which brings me to the second point, which is that, regardless, the claim that the IAEA report from November suggested that Iran was “closer to the ability to produce the 90 percent uranium needed to provide fissile material for atomic bombs” is categorically false. In fact, the report stated just the opposite.

The IAEA, in its August report, noted that Iran had 189.4 kg of 20% enriched uranium (para. 12). Then, in its November report referred to by Reuters, the IAEA noted that although Iran had increased the amount of uranium it had enriched to 20% to 232.8 kg, its stockpile had at the same time been reduced to 134.9 kg because 1.6 kg had been downblended and 96.3 kg had been converted into fuel plates for use in the Tehran research reactor.

That is to say, while Reuters reports that the IAEA report showed that Iran was closer to having the amount of enriched uranium necessary, if enriched further, to produce a bomb, the fact is that the report actually showed that Iran was further away from having such an amount of 20% enriched uranium.

Standard fare from the Western mainstream media.

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

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