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Iran Could Develop Bomb In 2005

Middle East Newsline | August 25 2004

WASHINGTON [MENL] -- Iran could complete development of its first nuclear weapon in 2005.

U.S. officials and analysts said Iran has accelerated its nuclear weapons program and could achieve a breakthrough over the next year. They said Iran has determined that it could enrich a sufficient amount of uranium by late 2005.

Undersecretary of State John Bolton said Teheran has told Britain, France and Germany that Iran could enrich enough uranium for a nuclear weapon within a year. Bolton said Teheran has developed programs for the production of plutonium as well as enriched uranium. He said Iran has constructed a large underground facility meant to house up to 50,000 gas centrifuges.

"If we permit Iran's deception to go on much longer, it will be too late," Bolton told the Hudson Institute on Aug. 17. "Iran will have nuclear weapons."