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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran is not close to having a nuclear weapon, which gives the United States and others time to try to persuade Tehran to abandon its suspected atomic arms program, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Sunday.
"They're not close to a stockpile, they're not close to a weapon at this point, and so there is some time," Gates said on NBC television's "Meet The Press."
Gates' comments followed a televised interview with Adm. Mike Mullen, head of the U.S. military Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told CNN's "State of the Union" that he believed Iran has enough fissile material to make a nuclear bomb.
"We think they do, quite frankly," Mullen said.
The critical mass is inversely proportional to the square of the density: if the density is 1% more and the mass 2% less, then the volume is 3% less and the diameter 1% less. The probability for a neutron per cm travelled to hit a nucleus is proportional to the density, so 1% more, which compensates that the distance travelled before leaving the system is 1% less.
Iran has fissile material... but it's refined to somewhere around 30%... which is perfect for nuclear power plants... but it's USELESS for nuclear weapons.