Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Iran Temporarily Halted Uranium Enrichment - IAEA

IAEA reported today that Iran had temporarily halted its uranium enrichment work earlier this month. The agency’s inspectors visiting the country’s enrichment unit at Natanz on 16 November observed that none of the cascades, normally comprising 164 centrifuges, were being fed with UF6 (uranium hexaflouride) to produce low-enriched uranium (LEU).

It was not immediately clear when the outage had started, but the Iranian authorities informed IAEA on Monday that 28 cascades were enriching uranium again [AFP & Reuters, 23 November].

Iran’s director of Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi today denied media reports that the outage might have been linked to the Stuxnet worm [ISNA, 23 November]. Some experts believe a technical problem could have been the cause.

Despite the temporary halt in uranium enrichment, IAEA report indicates that Iran's total output of LEU has reached 3,183 kilograms (7003 pounds), suggesting steady production in recent months. The country’s inventory of 20-percent enriched uranium has reached 33 kilos.

Meantime, the US today criticized Iran for its "continued failure" to cooperate with IAEA, after the report by the agency said Iran was still refusing to halt uranium enrichment.


Anonymous said...

Despite Iranian claims in October that their nuclear systems were cleansed of the Stuxnet virus, Iranian sources confirm that the invasive malworm is still making trouble. IAEA reports confirm that the virus has gathered itself for a fresh onslaught on Iran's vital facilities. Stuxnet is also in the process of raiding Iran's military systems, sowing damage and disorder in its wake.

On Nov. 17, in the middle of a massive air defense exercise, Iranian military sources decided to give up on using the exercise as a stage for unveiling new and highly sophisticated weaponry, including a homemade radar system, for fear that they too may have been infected by the ubiquitous Stuxnet worm.

Anonymous said...

Go Stuxnet!

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling these reports are mostly a desperately craved for mental ejaculation aimed at western news consumers...(like a bone thrown at a dog)

I doubt it to be correct since we all know how anti Iranian news are usually magnified.

Go Iran Go

Dariush London

WMD said...

"It's about the fuel cycle stupid!".

I don't say STUXNET wasn't targeted at Natanz. Apparently it was even specifically aimed at an Iranian frequency converter chip (or Finnish for that matter) but the real damage would not have been physical but political: it would not have been enough to damage some or most centrifuges or even stop the Iranians feeding the undamaged ones while they kept spinning (as most recent reports claim), but it was necessary to take them all out so Iran's fuel cycle would truly have been interrupted at last!!.

STUXNET was just a media weapon (that's where the West still has some courage left) or else it would've stayed covert until each and every centrifuge was smashed, as a real weapon it failed miserably.

WWMMDD said...

BTW, there's a bug in this GOOGLE blogspot thingy.
Comments are either too big or when split, get all mixed up.

reader said...

Stuxnet could easily be reverse engineered, spawned into many different forms and then unleashed back onto the west. Approximately 60% of the coalition deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan were due to the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) put together by rug-tag Iraqi and Taliban fighters. Where do you think the blue print for devising IEDs originated from? Those who underestimate the ingenuity of the Iranian scientists and engineers do so at their pearl.

Amir Taheri said...

Nicely said Reader.

I find the whole Stuxnet thing interesting. Two scenarios are possible:

1. It was indeed targeting Iran


2. It is as many have said a media blitz that had no real effect on Iran's program

Either way, the result is the same. Iran pushes that much harder to prove the West wrong. Everything we have seen from Iran's responses in the last years is to push that much harder when hitting an obstacle by the West.

West says stop enrichment --> Iran expands enrichment centrifuges

West says stop enrichment --> builds more enrichment plants (10 to built in hardened underground chambers)

West says stop enrichment --> produce higher grade (20%) uranium

West says stop enrichment--> ????

b said...

Reader asked: "Where do you think the blue print for devising IEDs originated from?"

Answer: U.S. Field Manual 5-31 "Land Mines and Booby Traps (1943)"

The former Marine and now journalist C.J. Chivers found copies of it in Konduz after the Taliban fled in 2001.

You can read about that here:

reader said...

Dear b
Attempt to unleash Stuxnet onto Iranians is like handing out an IED plus the accompanying manual 5-31 to the Talibans in one single package. As I said, Stuxnet virus can easily be reveres engineered into many deadly variants – no instruction manual required, it is all there inside the package! One day the off springs of this virus will emerge from the east to bite the very people who gave birth to their forefathers.

Anonymous said...

Reality is... Stuxnet is causing havoc to terrorists in Iran ONLY and it has Amadinejad by the testicles. If Iran has such great engineers then why hasn't Amadinejad been able to do anything about it for months?

Keep living the delusional life.

Go Stuxnet!

Anonymous said...

The Stuxnet virus arrives via Windows networks. It seeks Siemens process control systems and disrupts them. Iran can isolate and restart the centifuges, and probably has already done so. Meanwhile, Stuxnet is still around, able to wreck control processes world-wide. Siemens process controls are used to run trains and traffic lights; run industrial processes such mixing batches of medicines and foodstuffs. If this was the US or Israel then they have shot themselves in the foot. The people most worried about this are Microsoft and Siemens.
Incidentally, when analysed, the virus contained the words Myrtus and guava. The cherry guava grows in sub-tropical or tropical places, so look there for the originator of the virus.