Attaining the ability to enrich uranium up to 20 percent grade brings Iran dangerously close to "break-out" point for a nuclear weapon capability, DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised the "good news" would be announced during the Feb. 1-11 celebrations of the Islamic Revolution. The "news" also prompted an urgent cabinet meeting in Jerusalem last week.
Ahmadinejad's announcement is a provocative demonstration of contempt for the six world powers and their offer to trade Iran's low-grade uranium for 20 pc enriched product overseas. By going public on the banned process and abandoning concealment, Iran's rulers are throwing down the gauntlet to them and Israel.