If you’ve become hooked on “this”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/2018/safeguards-at-natanz “Iran”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1871/iran-when-should-we-panic “breakout”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1887/inferring-iranian-centrifuge-production-rates “stuff”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1889/sound-bites-man, then don’t miss these recent additions:
* Andreas Persbo, “The Iranian breakout scenario”:http://verificationthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/03/iranian-breakout-scenario.html
* R. Scott Kemp and Alexander Glaser, “Statement on Iran’s ability to make a nuclear weapon and the significance of the 19 February 2009 IAEA report on Iran’s uranium enrichment program”:http://www.princeton.edu/~rskemp/can-iran-make-a-bomb.pdf
And, in a different vein,
* M.A. Mohammadi, “To the editor”:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/opinion/l03iran.html
One of the shortcomings of breakout lit so far may be its emphasis on on a single site. A hidden site is also a possibility, conceivably involving technologies other than the IR-1. The plutonium pathway is also starting to loom as an issue of concern.
Viewing things more broadly, the more time passes, the more this question becomes one of political will, not technical capacity. This is a gradual change; there really is no bright line separating these two “regions.” And in a highly factionalized system, political will is not such a simple matter as it sounds.
An added thought. In the face of such complexity, there may be a temptation to fall back on a worst-case scenario. Without wanting to ignore such a scenario entirely, I’d urge caution before embracing it.