The Director of US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess said Iran has produced “more than enough” low-enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon, and that the UN sanctions “are not stopping Iran’s drive to enrich uranium.”
In a statement prepared for the Senate Armed Services Committee and carried by news agencies today, the DIA chief said Iran has installed nearly 9,000 centrifuges at Natanz. In 2007, when the sanctions by UN and Western countries began, Iran had only 3,000 centrifuges. Burgess’s remarks reinforce latest US government assessments that the current sanctions against Iran have been ineffective.
Gen. Burgess says in his statement that Iran is protecting its Natanz and Qom nuclear installations underground.
“Buried, hardened facilities and improved air defenses are key elements of Iran’s extensive program to protect its nuclear infrastructure from destruction,” Burgess says. “Iran’s construction is in keeping with a transnational tunneling trend where potential adversaries conceal and protect their most vital national security activities.”
On air defenses, Burgess says Iran’s plans to defend its facilities, as well as protecting its senior leaders, was dealt a setback when Russian officials in September prohibited delivery of the advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran.
On Iran’s missile program, the DIA chief says Iran’s Simorgh satellite launch vehicle shows the country’s progress toward developing an intercontinental ballistic missile.