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How close is Iran to a bomb?

President Ahmadinejad's bellicose rhetoric has raised concerns about Iran's intentions. Whether or not he is reelected Friday, here's what Western policymakers now need to consider.

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In Friday's election, Iranians will show whether they support President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's bellicose rhetoric – particularly on key issues such as the country's nuclear program. Just before North Korea's defiant nuclear test on May 25, Iran conducted two successful tests of long-range missiles, including one that Tehran says is more accurate than previous models and can reach Israel.

How close is Iran to a bomb?
Officially, Iran's nuclear program is for developing nuclear power, and a 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concluded that they abandoned their weapons program in 2003. But given the Islamic Republic's past secrecy about the extent of its activities, many are suspicious of its assertions.

Here's what is publicly known:

Key sites include a uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz; a plant at Arak to produce heavy water, which can be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium; a nuclear power station at Bushehr; and a uranium conversion plant at Isfahan.


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