By the end of 2023 will Iran successfully enrich enough Uranium to assemble a nuclear warhead?
Basic
98
23k
resolved Jan 1
Resolved
NO

Resolves YES if by the end of 2023 Iran announces they have enriched enough material to assemble a nuclear warhead. Resolves NO if not.

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Does this resolve based on what Iran says? Cuz they're not gonna confirm this one https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/12/27/us-frets-over-irans-accelerated-uranium-enrichment-programme

predicted YES

@oh But they did confirm by letting the IAEA inspectors in. Plus they are party to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, while Israel is not. So there is no reason to think they are hiding anything at the moment, it wouldn’t even serve their interests I don’t think to keep it secret.

@BTE You wrote if "Iran announces". So it's not about what they do, it's what they say. It seems like there is next-to-no chance that they will announce today that they are going to break the treaty, so can't this resolve NO?

predicted NO

@oh yeah but Brian has a large yes position so neither the question asked nor reality are going to matter a whole lot.

Unfortunately I didn't realise this was one of his markets until it was too late.

This wording is tricky. But this sounds like they have not successfully enriched enough material to assemble a nuclear weapon? This is about the enriching, not just about the material right? Weapons grade is 90%, and they're at 60%.

The "if enriched further" is what this question is about, right? @BTE

@Joshua The deal with Obama I believe was designed to avoid the scenario we are currently in, where the enrichment is at such a scale that it would be impractical to even attempt to stop them from obtaining a nuclear weapon given the required warhead designs etc. I also think refinement speeds up as you pass increasingly higher enrichment levels, which is another reason Obama made the deal he did at the time.

This question is definitely not about having a working bomb but directly violating the terms of the deal to purposely and openly enrich enough uranium to make the bomb a matter of when and not if. Am I making sense?

I am going to look into the things I read before about how significant the IAEA reported developments are.

@BTE It's one of these sticky situation where the letter and the spirit don't match. I think it's a pretty clear NO in letter and a pretty clear YES in spirit. NO because it's not Iran who said so and they still need to go through another step to turn the uranium into weapon-grade, and YES because Iran is openly violating the terms of the deal and can build a nuclear warhead pretty much at any time they wanted to, within around a month. Encriching Iranium from 60% to 90% is apparently not hard. Iran is almost nuclear in the sense that they don't yet have first strike or second strike capabilities, but any conventional power that would consider a war against them knows that Iran could nuke them if they wanted.

predicted NO

YES because Iran is openly violating the terms of the deal

For the record I did not read the question as being about "the deal" at all. It doesn't even mention it.

Also, they've had Uranium at 60% since january at least. The recent news is:

So they've been enriching uranium... and they slowed down... and now they're un-slowing down... and they're enriching to /near/ weapons grade... but not actually weapon grade. That's so many qualifiers. I don't see how we could possibly get another announcement in these last three days of them actually enriching enough material to weapons-grade to make a warhead.

predicted NO

@Joshua there certainly wasn't an announcement by Iran, which is what is required for a (good faith) resolution of YES.

predicted YES

@PaulBenjaminPhotographer How many times do I have to say this: unlike Israel, Iran is a party to the nonproliferation treaty. So they allow IAEA inspectors into their facilities to conduct independent assessments. This is what I meant by Iran announcement. Like this is how you credibly get that information out. Iran is not building their nuclear program in secret like Israel, that is what I meant

Regardless it appears they are still a bit short of amount and degree of refinement.

Beware! Title of the question should really be: "By the end of 2023, will Iran announce they have enriched enough material to assemble a nuclear warhead?"

@CertaintyOfVictory Actually I should have worded it "will IAEA inspectors announce Iran has enough..."

@BTE That's a pretty big change. Also why not just resolve YES in that case?

@Shump As I said below, Iran is a party to the non-proliferation treaty and allows IAEA inspectors to review their facilities and stockpiles. There is no more credible source for this information IMO.

The resolution criteria here is notably different from that of the linked Metaculus question. The Metaculus question will resolve based off of a declaration from the Federation of American Scientists, while this market resolves based of a declaration from Iran. I doubt Iran will announce it even if they enrich enough material to get a nuke.

predicted YES

@toms The IAEA recently inspected their facilities and the Iranians acknowledged the levels of enrichment cited by the international inspectors, which is not far from the levels needed to build a weapon. I actually added the embedded Metaculus market very recently when they updated their embeds, so it is not the source for this question.

predicted YES

@toms No matter who announces it, the only way to get information about enrichment is if the Iranian's allow it to be known.

@BTE That's not true, there's plenty of ways to estimate it.

Could you clarify what it would mean for Iran to announce that they have enough material for a nuke?

predicted YES

@toms I mean they acknowledge/confirm an estimated level of enrichment has been reached that exceeds what is necessary to develop a weapon.