Jeffrey LewisPaul Doubts 3,000 Centrifuge Report

Paul over at TotalWonkerr further doubts that the Iranians have installed 3,000 centrifuges, citing comments by ElBaradei and Aqazadeh:

  • IAEA DG ElBaradei told Reuters that Iran “is still going ahead … with the goal of having 54,000 centrifuges. Now it is still at the hundreds stage…”
  • AEOI’s Aqazadeh says that he “didn’t give a number on purpose” … and was “worried that if mention was made of the number of centrifuges, some ambiguities would arise regarding whether we planned to only install 3000 centrifuges or more.”

Paul concludes where I do—- that “As far as I can tell, the term [“industrial stage”] means that Iran is proceeding with plans to install 50K+ centrifuges. That was, of course, already Tehran’s declared policy.”

Paul also has some iTunes advice, noting Iran’s very different take on “industrial” music.


  1. Haninah (History)

    The quote from MEB is straightforward enough, but Paul’s interpretation of Aqazadeh’s comments is completely illogical.

    How in the world do you understand “some ambiguities would arise regarding whether we planned to only install 3000 centrifuges or more” to mean “we have not installed 3000 centrifuges”? Those two statements are in no way logically equivalent.

    The only way I can understand that sentence is “we are planning at some point to have at least 3000 centrifuges, and don’t want to say now whether it’s 3000 or more than that.” Any part of that may be true or false, but I think the implications Paul is extracting are completely non-existent in the quote.

  2. yale (History)

    The Iranians seem to be proceeding roughly the rate I posted HERE

    In that scenario, Iran gets one cascade online by June and ramps up only one additional cascade every two months.

    This results in an accumulated SWU sufficient to build one first generation or several advanced bombs by the first half of 2009.

    Interestingly, if Iran did have 3K centrifuges,
    and if they were only capable of running them at 33% of potential 2 swu/yr, then they would again reach the same 20kg HEU in the first half of 2009.

    It is important to note that Iran could produce totally kosher (no irony intended) LEU – able to claim virginal innocence – until the very end. Just a couple months or less is all it takes to push LEU to HEU.