Iran IAEA report

WaPo has the IAEA report to the UN on Iran's compliance or lack thereof (PDF)

Good stuff on Verification blog

Interesting stuff.
IAEA full story is here (it helpfully explains they won't release the restricted distribution report that the WaPo printed...)

The Iranians have made a bunch (~ 100 tons) of natural uranium hexafluoride, suitable to enrichment in their centrifuge cascade, and have two 164 centrifuge cascades in place with two more to be up by the end of the month, and they are being prepped for a run through.
They did a 50kg batch test run, enriching to 4.2% (compared to 0.7% natural and > 93% bomb grade).
Enriching all the UF6 to reactor grade would give them a refill for Bushehr reactor. Taking all of it to bomb grade would be hard work, but would give them several tons of U-235, enough for a couple of hundred bombs.

No sign of Pu reprocessing, but they continue setting up paths both for Pu breeding in smaller reactors and possible processing facilities.

Small particles of Highly Enriched Uranium detected at a couple of locations have not been satisfactorily explained, and the IAEA is clearly concerned they are missing a facility. Sounds like some of the HEU has been traced back to Pakistan(?) from used equipment arriving pre-contaminated, but it also sounds like the IAEA is not happy with that as the entire explanation. For some reason. Might just be super-cautious here.

Report is not really bad, but not really good either. Reading between the lines, it is pretty clear that Iran is in fact doing parallel development not just for a full fuel cycle but for full bomb production.
It is also clear, that with the known facilities they are not there yet, but they are closer.
Couple of ways they could get there: a big push on uranium enrichment; or short burn of fuel grade uranium (or natural uranium in a heavy water reactor) followed by Pu-239 extraction.
If they have an undisclosed facility that everyone missed, then they could be a step closer and the IAEA sounds worried that they can not rule this possibility out.

IAEA Board consider the issue March 5th. UN Security Council also gets to pontificate at its leisure.

UN Security Council Resolution 1737 is here
It has rather a lot of Decides... "all necessary measures" kinda clauses.
Strictly these are "no trade" clauses, but I'd worry what an obstinate lawyer could read into them.
Kinda depends on whether you're a "half-full" or "half-empty" kinda person.


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Wait a minute. 100 tons of natural U gives less than 1 ton of U235, not several. That would be enough for about a dozen gun type bombs which are so simple they don't even need testing. Or a 100 implosion bombs.

Oops. You are right.
0.7% concentration. They quote about 150tons converted to UF6 so ton or less of weapons grade if they can get it purified that far.
So probably less than 20 gun type bombs, since something like 50+ kg of U235 are needed for each.

On a related note, The New Yorker has an article coming out in its March 4 edition on the scope creep within the US anti-Iranian military planning. This is via Reuters, and the articles author is Sy Hersh.

Hersh writes about the US war-planners in the Pentagon expanding targets beyond the defacto nuclear and military sites, to those connected with power grids and factories. Also supposed targets connected to Iraqi militia groups.

Just figure its worth noting in the latest DoC post on Iran.