Kemp says he doesn't quite get why Iran continues to install these so-called IR-1 centrifuges, given their performance problems, "One reason may be that none of
the new designs have proved reliable, another reason may be that Iran
has manufacturing limitations," he said. "The data suggests that
Iran wants to build as big a capacity as it can now given the parts
and manufacturing capabilities it has instead of pursuing a more
commercially viable model."
The good news is that Iran has taken some of its enriched uranium to a fuel manufacturing plant. "If Iran wants to send a positive message, it could
begin to convert all its enriched uranium into oxide form, the form
needed for fuel," he said "Doing so would move Iran closer to its goal of
making fuel, and also help relieve international tensions. At the
moment, Iran is storing its enriched uranium in a form that can be
easily upgraded to weapons-grade enrichment levels."
Kemp doesn't see why Iran won't allow international inspectors into its heavy-water research reactor near the town of Arak. "That makes no sense to me," he said.
He also noted that the IAEA continued to condemn Iran for refusing to adopt the
additional protocol, which would allow for more intrusive inspections and require greater transparency, and for declining to answer the agency's questions on its alleged past weaponization experiments.
afraid we are going to see these admonitions on a repeated basis until
Iran decides that it wants to move forward."
Hopefully, he said, the politicans will figure all of this out.
"With the Obama
administration," he said, "I am confident the door to amicable relations is open.
Now both countries just need to take a step forward. Let's see what
Iran's election has in store."
Photo: R. Scott Kemp. Credit: Princeton University