Ex-IAEA Aide: ‘Iran has Material for 1-2 Atom Bombs’

No surprise at all…

In unusual public remarks about Iran’s disputed nuclear programme Olli Heinonen, the former chief of U.N. nuclear inspections worldwide, told Le Monde newspaper that Iran’s uranium reserve still represented a “threat.”

Until he stepped down earlier this month for personal reasons, Heinonen was deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and head of its nuclear safeguards department, which verifies that countries’ nuclear programmes are not being diverted for military use.

A no-nonsense Finn, he was one of the U.N. agency’s leading experts on Iran, which denies Western suspicions that its nuclear programme is aimed at making bombs despite intelligence indications to the contrary, which he investigated for years.

In the interview published on Thursday, Heinonen said the Islamic Republic now possessed three tonnes of low-enriched uranium, material which can be used to fuel nuclear power plants, or form the core of a bomb if refined much further.

“In theory, it is enough to make one or two nuclear arms. But to reach the final step, when one only has just enough material for two weapons, does not make sense,” Heinonen said in the interview carried out just before he left office.

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