On the front page of the New York Times, the Propaganda war rages on. The article points out that Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that Iran was using P2-centrifuge technology to produce it enriched uranium:NY TIMES
The assertion involves Iran's claim that even while it begins to enrich small amounts of uranium, it is pursuing a far more sophisticated way of making atomic fuel that American officials and inspectors say could speed Iran's path to developing a nuclear weapon.
Iran has consistently maintained that it abandoned work on this advanced technology, called the P-2 centrifuge, three years ago. Western analysts long suspected that Iran had a second, secret program based on the black market offerings of the renegade Pakistani nuclear engineer Abdul Qadeer Khan separate from the activity at its main nuclear facility at Natanz. But they had no proof.
Then on Thursday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Tehran was "presently conducting research" on the P-2 centrifuge, boasting that it would quadruple Iran's enrichment powers. The centrifuges are tall, thin machines that spin very fast to enrich, or concentrate, uranium's rare component, uranium 235, which can fuel nuclear reactors or atom bombs.
Okay, wait a second. For 3 years I have been seeing articles about the possible threat that the Iran "regime" poses. I don't know about you, but when I saw the word President today something struck that hadn't before, so I did a little research to figure out how their political system worked and found out it operates like a democracy. It has an Executive Branch headed by an elected official from a popular vote. It also has a Judicial and a Legislative. If anyone knows more specifics help out.
the other thing that occured to me was that in order for this information about the p-2 centrifuge to be accurate there had to be a second facility they weren't acknowledging to the IAEA, but wait let look at what he said. I think it is important to keep in mind that this leader often over-states Iran's position and demands respect for it. It has also occured to me that if his policies were failing, that of a grass roots economic official, he going to try and use tyhe opertunity to gather support from his voter base. It may be a theocratic democracy, but he still has to earn his votes..
A quote from an article in the Washington Post: Rafsanjani's announcement may have been aimed at trumping his rival and taking credit for progress in the nuclear program, which has broad support in Iran, analysts said.
So here what he says according to the NY Times: "presently conducting research" on the P-2 centrifuge, boasting that it would quadruple Iran's enrichment powers. Hmm... He obviously didn't say the whole sentence or the quotation marks would have encompassed it all, right. Lets see what he did say about from the transcript of the announcement April 9th... That's strange. I cant find it anywhere on the internet, (again if anyone has a link to this please post it), but I did find a few article writen the day after the nationally televised speech (Iran).This article discuss 164 centrifuges:
"We operated the first unit which comprises of 164 centrifuges, gas was injected, and we got the industrial output," Rafsanjani said in an interview with KUNA.
"There needs to be an expansion of operations if we are to have a complete industrial unit; tens of units are required to set up a uranium enrichment plant," said Rafsanjani, who was Ahmadinejad's rival in last year's presidential race.
They don't even have a plant built yet, did you catch that. And they aren't discribing the P-2 centrifuge here. So where did the NY Times get this information?The Washington Post reported this April 12th:
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog group, confirmed that the Iranians were operating an array of 164 centrifuges, and inspectors arriving in Tehran on Wednesday will seek to verify the production of a token amount of nuclear fuel. Producing amounts large enough to power an electrical plant or -- if enriched long enough -- to make a bomb would require several thousand centrifuges, orchestrated in cascades whose constant operation poses significant technical challenges.
"This means they can operate a larger cascade, but can they do it for a long time? We don't know," said a Western official closely involved in monitoring Iran's progress.
Iran had previously enriched uranium to a level of about 2 percent, using a smaller cascade, and separately enriched uranium to about 15 percent during laser experiments in 2002. Bomb-grade uranium must be enriched to a level of well over 80 percent.IAEA inspectors have monitored much of the work being conducted in Iran during frequent visits over the last month, and the cascade of centrifuges is being monitored by IAEA cameras. Agency officials told diplomats almost a month ago that the Iranians were close to completing the 164-centrifuge cascade and would begin testing it with inert gas and then a small quantity of uranium gas. Though it is technically possible, most nuclear experts agree it is unlikely Iran would be able to make bomb-grade uranium with the 164-centrifuge cascade.
Well none of that sounds like the p-2 centrifuge, and It looks like it would be pretty challenging to accomplish this in secret, considering there efforts here are fundimental at best, as of yet. One thing I'd like to make sure of is that the NY Times is reporting accurate news. This process is taking place in front of cameras and the amounts they would create using this system won't be enough for commercial purposes for some time let alone weapons grades. How is this an immediate threat to anyone?