There are reports out of Iran today that the country is nearly finished installing more than 2,800 uranium centrifuges at its highly secure underground nuclear plant. Fredrik Dahl of Reuters reports that several unnamed diplomats have repeated the claim, signalling that the country is almost ready to take the next step toward enriching uranium. The equipment is not yet operational according to those same sources.
The facility is still along way from being able to produce material for nuclear weapons, as Iran has yet to enrich uranium even to the level needed for a peaceful, energy-only reactor. However, with all the equipment in place it would not take long for the plant to come online and process to move forward. The Fodrow facility in question is particularly worrisome to Western nations as it was built underground to protect it from the possibility of U.S. or Israeli airstrikes. It existence was only detected by intelligence agencies in 2009, after it had already been built. Those same western allies have destroyed Iranian centrifuges in the past using cyberattacks, but employing that tactic again may prove a more difficult challenge now that Iran is aware of the threat.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.