Jeffrey LewisLate 2009 721 Report

DNI has released the July-December 2009 721 Report.

I wish they just saved the text as a .pdf, rather than scanning it and converting the images.

Update | 2:14 pm And by “late,” I meant “second half of.” It is, as Josh Pollack notes, early by previous standards.


  1. Scott Monje (History)

    Evidently, the Intelligence Community has not been reading the Washington Times to learn what the Intelligence Community’s assessment of the Iranian nuclear program is.

  2. matt (History)

    What does LEU mean?

  3. Jon Harrison (History)

    Low Enriched Uranium Generally less than 5% 235U.

  4. FSB

    This document is fully consistent with the Annual Threat Assessment, which states:

    “We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that bring it closer to being able to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

    The 721 report’s section on Iran:

    “…we do not know whether Iran will eventually decide to produce nuclear weapons.”

    Will the WSJ, WaPo or NYTimes carry this message or will they continue the drumbeat for more sanctions and war?

    Let us re-cap: to the best of the US IC’s knowledge the Iranian government has NOT decided to make nuclear weapons.


    Oh, and someone pls pass the msg to AIPAC also.

  5. FSB

    matt, LEU == Low Enriched Uranium.

    LEU cannot be used for a nuclear bomb. It must be (painfully) enriched into HEU.

    Since the IAEA monitors Iran’s LEU stocks it is not a trivial matter for them to convert their LEU to HEU: they would get caught if they tried that and, in any case, it would take them a good long while to make the HEU from the LEU.

    This is all well known but ignored by the media.

    As William Luers, Thomas R. Pickering, and Jim Walsh state: “…..Having the capacity to build a nuclear weapon is not the same thing as having one, and having a large stock of low-enriched uranium is not the same as having the highly enriched uranium necessary for a bomb….”


    “…News reports and some commentators have recently claimed that Iran has enough material for a nuclear weapon. These reports referred to Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium. This is a misleading claim. To begin with, one cannot make a nuclear weapon with low-enriched uranium. A nuclear weapon requires highly enriched uranium or plutonium, and Iran possesses neither. In theory, Iran could take its stock of low-enriched uranium and enrich it to a grade required for making bombs, but its low-enriched uranium is currently under the surveillance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Diverting this material for military purposes would be discovered by the IAEA. (Detection of diversion is the IAEA’s technological strong suit.) Iran’s choices, therefore, are to cheat and get caught or to kick out the inspectors. Either action would represent an extreme departure from Iranian strategy to date and in any case would likely precipitate military action by Israel.”

  6. k_w (History)

    Is it correct that LEU is any uranium up to 19.99 percent, and would you say that Iran’s attempt to produce 19.75% uranium, as little likely as its success may be, is a clear signal that it does not want to produce nuclear weapons now?