There are two countries in this world that we'd rather not see tinker with nuclear energy: Iran and North Korea. And it just so happens one of those is now prepping for a nuclear test, while the other is bragging about how it's putting its program into overdrive.
Let's start in Iran. "Iran is poised for a major technological update of its uranium enrichment program, allowing it to vastly increase production of the material that can be used for both reactor fuel and nuclear warheads," diplomats told the AP on Thursday. According to sources at the International Atomic Energy Agency, officials in Iran are mounting 3,132 "new-generation centrifuges" which likely means they're done with research and now moving on to enrichment, which in the big picture, "will reduce the timeline for Iran being able to produce a weapon's worth of fissile material," an expert told the AP.
Essentially, if Iran isn't bluffing about its new centrifuges, then talk of them possessing a bomb isn't as far away as some think. This report comes just three days after Israeli intelligence officials said Iran was slowing down its nuclear program. Sheera Frankel reported:
Intelligence briefings given to McClatchy over the last two months have confirmed that various officials across Israel’s military and political echelons now think it’s unrealistic that Iran could develop a nuclear weapons arsenal before 2015. Others pushed the date back even further, to the winter of 2016.
Obviously that's a conflicting report and radically different than what Iranian officials are telling the AP and telling the IAEA. And keep in mind, that Israel isn't afraid of stoking fears about Iran's nuclear capabilities. (Remember Binyamin Netanyahu's "red line" from September?)