Back to Top is the premiere source for primary source information and nonpartisan, realistic analysis of Iran's nuclear program.

More about the site »

Latest News:

Kilograms of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) that Iran has enriched to 3.5% U-235
(August 2013) Learn More...

Enriched uranium occurs when the percent composition of U-235 in natural uranium has been increased by isotope separation. Natural uranium has only 0.7% U-235. This total amount of 3.5 percent low enriched uranium (LEU), if further enriched to weapons grade, is likely enough to make seven to nine nuclear weapons.

[Related: Iran Nuclear Program]

Average production, in kilograms per month, of 3.5% LEU at the Natanz Enrichment Plant
(Augut 2013) Learn More...

The Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) is Iran's primary enrichment facility, where the majority of its IR-1 centrifuges are installed. Its monthly rate of LEU production has held steady since March 2012, but represents a significant increase over the 90kg/day level recorded in June 2008. This level of monthly production means that Iran can produce enough LEU for one nuclear bomb, if enriched to weapons grade, every 4 to 5 months.

[Related: Main Nuclear Facilities]

Cumulative total of uranium, in kilograms, that Iran has enriched to 19.75%
(August 2013) Learn More...

Iran has designated two centrifuge cascades at the Natanz Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP) for the production of LEU enriched to nearly 20% uranium-235. Commercial and research reactors use LEU enriched between 3% to 19.75%. Uranium is considered highly enriched when it passes the 20% enrichment mark. An additional 96.3kg of 19.75% LEU has been fed into the Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant (FPFP) for conversion to triuranium octaoxide (U3O8). In 2011, twice in 2012, and again at the start of 2013, Iran converted at least 113kg of 20% LEU into reactor fuel, effectively making it unusable for a nuclear device.

[Related: Iran Nuclear Program]

Average amount of 20% LEU needed to produce enough fissile material for one nuclear device
(August 2013) Learn More...

Uranium is considered highly enriched when it passes the 20% enrichment mark. With further enrichment to weapons-grade 90%, which from 20% is a relatively simple jump as opposed to the advance from 3.5% to 20%, Iran would only need 155 kg to power one nuclear bomb. Over the past two years, Iran has repeatedly converted some of its 20% LEU to reactor fuel trying to ensure it stays near, but lower than, this "red line."

[Related: Iran's Nuclear Program]

Average monthly production rate, in kilograms, of 19.75% LEU at the Natanz and Fordow plants
(August 2013) Learn More...

Between the release of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) May 2013 and August 2013 reports, Iran is estimated to have produced 15 kg of 19.75% enriched UF6, with an average monthly production rate of 4.75kg at Natanz and 10kg at Fordow. At this rate, it would theoretically take Iran approximately 10 months to enrich enough weapon-grade uranium metal.

[Related: Main Nuclear Facilities]

Total number of IR-1,IR-2m, and IR-4 uranium enrichment centrifuges currently active in Iran
(August 2013) Learn More...

Iran has just over 10,000 IR-1 centrifuges already spinning at its Natanz and Fordow plants with another 6,600 installed by not yet operational. The IR-1 is a first generation centrifuge, essentially a replica of Pakistan's centrifuge design. Iran is reporting a slightly lower output from these centrifuges, indicating it may be having trouble with the IR-1. As such, Iran is now also using the advanced IR-2m and IR-4 centrifuges, which are already installed and spinning.

[Related: Iran Nuclear Program]

Approximate number of IR-1 centrifuges believed to have been destroyed by the Stuxnet worm
(December 2010) Learn More...

In late 2009 or early 2010, Iran decommissioned and replaced about 1,000 IR-1 centrifuges in the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP). While Iran's IR-1 centrifuges often break, this level of breakage exceeded expectations and occurred during an extended period of relatively poor centrifuge performance. By September 2010, experts on Iran and computer security specialists were increasingly convinced that Stuxnet, a computer worm allegedly created by Israel or the United States, was used to sabotage and destroy the Natanz facility.

[Related: Iran's Nuclear History]

Number of countries that have imposed bilateral sanctions against Iran
(2012) Learn More...

These are: Australia, Canada, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States (excluding the European Union which has also passed sanctions on Iran representing its 27 member states). The sanctions are largely financial restrictions on business with specific Iranian entitites that are involved with Iran's nuclear or ballistic missile programs. Some states have also instituted travels bans and/or arms embargos on Iran.

[Related: Diplomacy]

Total number of Iranian entities sanctioned by the United States, United Nations & European Union
(August 2012) Learn More...

Sanctions, against individuals and organizations meted out in stages since 2005, has been the world's main response to Iran's nuclear program. Most of the Iranian entities punished are linked to these efforts, however, governments are broadening the scope of sanctions in an effort to hinder Iran's overall economy, including organizations and individuals linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The sanctions are largely the freezing of assets of the entities and prohibiting transactions with them.

[Related: Diplomacy]

Total number of Iranian entities sanctioned by the Government of Canada since 2010
(December 2012) Learn More...

In July 2010, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced the country's first sanctions legislation against Iranian individuals and organizations connected to Iran's uranium-enrichment activities. In December 2012, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced sanctions on an additional 98 entities. The Canadian sanctions freeze assets and prohibit economic or technical dealings with those listed.

[Related: Canadian Sanctions]

Maximum range, in miles, of the Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missile, currently operational
Learn More...

The Shahab-3 is a liquid-propellant, medium range ballistic missile (MRBM). It represents Iran's first successful attempt to acquire MRBMs and gives the country the capability to threaten targets which lie beyond its immediate borders. The original Shahab-3 missile, unveiled in 2003, is nearly identical to the North Korean No Dong 1 missile, and almost certainly is based on technology and parts from North Korea. Improved variants on the Shahab-3 include the 3B (better terminal guidance system and warhead) as well as the 3C and 3D, which are believed to possess improved precision and a longer range.

[Related: Iran Missile Arsenal]

Approximate range, in miles, between Tehran and Jerusalem
Learn More...

The distance between the Iranian and Israeli capital cities is well within range of Iran's ballistic missiles. Greater Jerusalem is home to approximately 1 million people, our roughly 12% of Israel's total population. Iran's leaders have made no qualms about threatening the existence of the Jewish state, and a nuclear tipped ballistic missile could accomplish that goal.

[Related: Military Option]