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Iran has enough fuel for a nuke bomb? That's old news.

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US envoy Glyn Davies made headlines worldwide Thursday.

He told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Wednesday that the US is deeply concerned that Iran has enough nuclear fuel to start moving towards the construction of a nuclear bomb.

"Iran is now either very near, or in possession already, of sufficient low-enriched uranium to produce one nuclear weapon, if the decision were made to further enrich it to weapons-grade," Mr. Davies said in a meeting with IAEA's board.

Expressing US concerns is part of Davies job. But if you read the New York Times story today (and others), you might have been led to believe that he was saying something new. He wasn't.

"American intelligence agencies have concluded in recent months that Iran has created enough nuclear fuel to make a rapid, if risky, sprint for a nuclear weapon,'' the Times reported on its front page Thursday. "In the first public acknowledgment of the intelligence findings (Davies) declared on Wednesday that Iran now had what he called a “possible breakout capacity” if it decided to enrich its stockpile of uranium."

Davies' comments were more direct than past American statements on the matter, perhaps indicating US frustration. But their substance reflected a seven-month old consensus among Western intelligence agencies and the IAEA itself that, yes indeed, Iran has enough low-enriched uranium to produce one bomb if, in theory, it enriched it to weapons grade.

Those conclusions were drawn after the February 19 release of this IAEA report on the state of Iran's nuclear program, which revealed it had far more low-enriched uranium than previously assumed.


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