Continued from page 2

Chinese Embassy spokesman Wang Baodong had no immediate comment on the book or China’s missile defenses.

Iran nuclear program

A private nuclear-arms watchdog group issued a report this week that concludes that Iran will have the capability of creating a “virtual” nuclear weapon in January.

The assessment by the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control states that Iran has a bank of centrifuges that are producing low-enriched uranium that can be used for nuclear reactors but that also can be recirculated through the centrifuges to make bomb fuel.

“The re-circulation raises the concentration of the uranium isotope U-235, which fissions in nuclear weapons such as the one dropped on Hiroshima,” the group stated in a report made public Wednesday.

“Based on the amount of low-enriched uranium Iran has stockpiled, and the amount it is believed to be producing each month, the Wisconsin Project estimates that by inauguration day, Iran could have enough U-235 to fuel one bomb quickly,” the report said, noting that the time frame would be two to three months to raise the level of U-235 from 3.8 percent enrichment to 90 percent.

Iran’s government has denied that its uranium-enrichment program is directed toward building weapons, and there is no firm evidence that the country has mastered the technology to weaponize enriched uranium.

Bill Gertz covers national security affairs. He can be reached at 202/636-3274, or at insidethering@washingtontimes.com.