Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas—including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles—from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons
. These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons
. This makes the central issue its political will to do so.
Of particular note, Iran has made progress during the past year by installing additional centrifuges at the Fuel Enrichment Plant, developing advanced centrifuge designs, and stockpiling more low-enriched uranium hexafluoride (LEUF6)
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. These improvements have better positioned Iran to produce weapons grade uranium (WGU) using its declared facilities and uranium stockpiles, if it chooses to do so. Despite this progress, we assess that Iran would not be able to divert safeguarded material and produce enough WGU for a weapon before such activity would be discovered
. Iran has also continued to work toward starting up the IR-40 Heavy Water Research Reactor near Arak.
We assess that if Iran fully implements the Joint Plan, it will temporarily halt the expansion of its enrichment program, eliminate its production and stockpile of 20-percent enriched uranium in a form suitable for further enrichment, and provide additional transparency into its existing and planned nuclear facilities. This transparency would provide earlier warning of a breakout using these facilities.