Based on media reports from October 31, 2008.

Based on media reports from October 31, 2008.

Iranhas recently tested ways to recover highly enriched uranium from waste reactor fuel as part of its nuclear program.This information waspublished by The Associated Press, citing an intelligence assessment made available tothe news agencybyIAEA.

The three-page intelligence report, drawn from Iranian sources within the country, states that the source material would be highly enriched - some at above 90% and the rest at 20%.

When used to produce nuclear weapons, uranium must be enriched at above 90%. The intelligence report also states that a report will soon be submitted to Iranian leadership for a decision on whether to go ahead with the project. The alleged tests loosely replicate Saddam Hussein's attempts to build a nuclear bomb.

Independent experts question the conclusion drawn by intelligence that Tehran is trying to reprocess the fuel to make a nuclear weapon.

They note that there is not enough of the spent fuel being discussed as a source of enriched uranium to yield the approximately 30 kilograms of weapons-grade material needed for a bomb. Still, they state that the alleged experiment appears plausible - if not as a fast track to weapons capability, then as a step that could move the country further along that path.