Iran Poised to Create Nuke Next Year
Country mastered warhead deployment in 2003: Times of London
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2009 1:50 AM CDT
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the Natanz uranium enrichment facility last year.   (AP Photo/Iranian President's Office, file)
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(Newser) – Iran has the capability to build a nuclear weapon within a year, and has either started to do so or is waiting for the go-ahead from Ayatollah Khamenei, sources tell the Times of London. The 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate that reported that Iran had halted nuclear research in 2003 was correct. But Iran stopped because it had already discovered how to detonate a warhead in one of its Shahab-3 missiles, not because of international pressure.

After solving the warhead deployment issue, Iran’s leaders knew creating a warhead was merely a matter of enriching uranium—something they already realized could be done with the centrifuges at the Natanz plant. If Iran decides to build a bomb, engineers will either rush to enrich uranium at Natanz before the global community can do anything to stop it, or carry out the enrichment in secret labs, sources say.