Albright said a nuclear weapon requires some 200 kilograms of enriched uranium, and that if the enrichment continues at the current pace, Iran would be able to attain such a quantity of weapons-grade enriched uranium in a relatively short time.
"Right now in Natanz we have the capability to enrich to more than 20 percent and to more than 80 percent, but because we don't need to, we won't do so." Ahmadinejad sounds like Ronald Reagan: "We believe that not only the Middle East but the whole world should be free of nuclear weapons, because we see such weapons as inhumane."
Western governments have stepped up the pressure on Iran since it announced on Tuesday that it had begun work to enrich uranium to 20 percent, which it says is for a medical research reactor in Tehran.
If Iran is pursuing a uranium weapon, the biggest technological problem by far is separating and purifying the tiny percentage of the fissile [U.sup.235] isotope found in uranium ore in order to obtain bomb-grade uranium enriched to 90 percent [U.sup.235].
The latest IAEA inspection report says Iran is continuing to enrich at the same speed as in the past, but has halted the installation of new centrifuges and limited the construction work done at the incomplete reactor at Arak.