CIA REPORT TO CONGRESS: Iran Expanding Nuke Program

Washington Free Beacon: The report on arms proliferation covering 2011, made public by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), reveals that Iran has produced 4,900 kilograms of low enriched uranium. “Iran continued to expand its nuclear infrastructure and continued uranium enrichment and activities related to its heavy water research reactor” contrary to U.N. resolutions, the report says.

Disclosure of the report comes amid growing speculation that Israel will conduct a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities and other targets.

Underground centrifuge cascades—banks of devices that produce enriched uranium—at Natanz also progressed, with more advanced centrifuges tested and developed at a pilot plant.

As of November, Iran’s nuclear material stockpile included 4,150 kilograms of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride and about 80 kilograms of 20-percent enriched uranium hexafluoride gas.

The report stated that Iran’s centrifuges decreased in number from 8,900 to 8,000 between August 2010 and November 2011. However, the number in operation increased sharply from 3,800 in August 2010 to around 6,200 currently.

A second major nuclear facility was identified in the report as the underground Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant near Qom. Fordow has begun production of “near-20 percent enriched uranium,” the report said. Fordow is a production center for uranium enrichment as a centrifuge research and development center.

The Iranian nuclear power plant at Bushehr began low-level reactor operations last year, but the plant is not yet operating at full power.

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