France, Germany and Britain are nervous in the West, especially in the signatories of the Iranian nuclear agreement. French President Mark Long immediately called Iranian President Ruhani, saying that Irans cessation of the Iranian nuclear agreement would have serious consequences.
The German and British foreign ministries have called on Iran to stop further action and withdraw all actions inconsistent with the agreement. The United States, the initiator of Irans nuclear issue, said Iran was engaged in nuclear blackmail.
As you can imagine, the Western countries are worried that Iran is going to build a nuclear weapon rhythm. The question is, technically speaking, can Iran produce nuclear weapons if it breaks through the 3.67% threshold?
Iranian government held a press conference in Tehran on the 7th, announcing that it will break through the restrictions on enriched uranium in the Iranian nuclear agreement.
The outbreak of Irans nuclear issue is actually caused by this enriched uranium.
In the 1950s, the Balevi dynasty, which ruled Iran at that time, had close ties with the West. Western countries supported Irans nuclear energy development.
But after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Irans new government became antagonistic to the United States, and the development of nuclear energy became the reason why the United States accused Iran of attempting to engage in nuclear weapons.
Although Iran has always stressed that its nuclear energy development is aimed at civil power generation, with Irans progress in nuclear technology, the United States has become increasingly nervous.
Americas fears are not entirely unreasonable. Like kitchen knives and machetes, there must be differences between civilian and military nuclear technologies, but there are also many interoperabilities. With sufficient accumulation of civilian nuclear technology, the foundation for further research and development of atomic bombs will be laid.
Tensions are starting with Irans mastery of uranium enrichment technology - in 2003, then Iranian President Hatami announced that Iran had discovered uranium deposits in Yazd and successfully extracted uranium. Iran would mine uranium deposits, build uranium conversion and enrichment facilities to build a complete nuclear fuel cycle system.
From a goodwill point of view, it is certainly a good thing to have nuclear power plants to produce their own nuclear fuel, without having to spend a lot of money to buy from others, let alone worry about the West borrowing this neck.
But, of course, the Western countries are interpreting it in another direction: you learn to make iron, say you want to make kitchen knives, and then you get a pile of iron at home. Isnt it sooner or later to build machetes?
So Western countries began to exert strong pressure on Iran, and the United Nations adopted a resolution to sanction Iran in 2005. This has hit Iran hard, which has just recovered from the Iran-Iraq war. Soon, the domestic economic recession took place and prices soared.
This has calmed down Iranian conservatives who insist on enriching uranium. In 2015, Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council, as well as Germany, reached the famous Iranian nuclear agreement.
The agreement stipulates that Iran will keep up to 300 kilograms of enriched uranium hexafluoride within 15 years of its entry into force, with a maximum abundance of 3.67%. The international community is committed to lifting a series of sanctions against Iran.
We all know what happened afterwards. Last year, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Iranian nuclear agreement and imposed the toughest sanctions ever imposed on Iran.
IAEA experts inspect Iranian nuclear facilities
Can Iran build an atomic bomb if it breaks through 3.67% enriched uranium?
The answer is No.
First of all, atomic bomb explosion requires a fission metal isotope uranium 235 or plutonium 239 that exceeds the critical mass. However, the expected nuclear explosion effect can not be achieved by only letting the two metals exceed the critical mass, even if combined with the bombardment of fast neutron sources.
Because at this time, although the chain reaction can be carried out relatively quickly, the large amount of thermal energy produced by fission quickly makes the fission metal liquefied and gasified, then diffused and expanded, and finally the chain reaction with thinner density can not continue. At this time, a certain explosive effect can be obtained, but the equivalent is not much.
For example, the U.S. atomic bomb thrown in Hiroshima after the incident statistical calculation, about 70 kilograms of uranium 235, the real participation in the fission process is only about 700 grams.
So if you want the bomb to be really reliable, you cant rely on the U.S. to pile up a lot of uranium 235, and then listen to a small noise. Why? In todays era, it is unrealistic to throw down a B29 Stone Age atomic bomb with tons of weight. Uranium 235 has to be stuffed into the warhead of the missile.
Iranian President Hassan Ruhani inspected uranium enrichment centrifuges in April this year
And the load of missile warheads is really limited. Only a few hundred kilograms of atomic bombs can be expected to be streamlined. How to simplify, we need to improve the utilization rate of uranium 235. This requires data from nuclear tests and then computational corrections.
In short, Iran is far from enough to enrich more than 90% of its nuclear weapons.
It is important to know that core data such as the cross section of nuclear and neutron collisions during nuclear explosions have been regarded as absolute confidentiality by nuclear states in the past decades. Without a large number of nuclear tests, no country can easily master such data.
Without these data, we can only guess and design rough configurations according to basic principles to set the time for conventional explosives to detonate fissile materials. Such an atomic bomb is essentially as efficient as the Hiroshima type, and can hardly be used in modern warfare.
Bring pressure on
Since nuclear weapons will not be released for a while and a half, why does Iran begin to threaten that Iran will achieve 20% enriched uranium next?
As long as we look at the time of Irans major action in enriching uranium in the past, we can see that todays Iranian action is actually a political weapon.
For example, in 2004, Iran, in coordination with the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency, signed an agreement to suspend the assembly of enriched uranium centrifuges. In the subsequent negotiations, Iran twice resumed uranium enrichment activities in order to gain greater bargaining power.
As for this Iranian move, it is more for France, Germany and Britain to see, its purpose is to pressure European countries: said to ease economic sanctions? What about the European Financial Settlement Mechanism (INSTEX), which bypasses the U.S. financial system?
And the international oil price will rise sharply with the deterioration of the situation in the Persian Gulf. Europe, which has been panicked by Britains decommissioning, immigration and populism, will suffer further economic shocks, and the future of the EU will be more worrying.
Iran is now seizing this mentality of the European Union, so it is clamoring for nuclear weapons, in fact, it is just a game of crying children to eat more milk.
However, how many problems can be solved only by European countries?
As Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, said on the 8th, it is also necessary to ring the bell.
The U.S. extreme pressure on Iran is the root cause of the crisis in the Iranian nuclear issue. The US side not only withdraws from the agreement unilaterally, but also creates more and more obstacles for Iran and other parties to implement the agreement through unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction.
The international community must adhere to multilateralism, abide by the international order based on international law and seek political and diplomatic solutions to relevant issues through equal dialogue.