Iran could enrich enough uranium to build an atomic bomb in the space of two to four months and then would need eight to 10 months to make the weapon, said Monday the authors of a new U.S. report.
The Institute for Science and International Security, the independent non-profit organization that published the report supports the remarks of U.S. Secretary of Defense, who said last month that Iran would need for "about a year" to produce a nuclear bomb if Tehran took such a decision.
Based on data collected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the report states that the "two-four months" the first phase corresponds to the need to raise the 25 kg of highly enriched uranium needed in the manufacture of a nuclear bomb.
"Iran may seek the ability to produce enough uranium (for weapons) faster than the IAEA inspectors could detect it," warns the report also.
"If Iran was able to produce enough (uranium) for a nuclear weapon, the ensuing process of making a weapon may not be detectable before Iran tested its nuclear device underground or reveals acquisition, "he adds.
The authors conclude that the best way to prevent Tehran to bring such a weapon is "to prevent accumulating enough nuclear explosive."
But in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel published Monday, the Iranian foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, reiterated his country's right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
He at the same time limit proposed compromise "on a voluntary basis", the level of enrichment of nuclear fuel in exchange for a supply of enriched uranium to third countries.
Iranian Presidentsaid last week that Iran would not give up its nuclear program despite Western sanctions that led to the plummeting value of the Iranian currency.