If Israel decides to attack Iran to cripple their ability to manufacture a nuclear bomb, these are the targets that will be hit in an air strike.
Arak – Heavy water plant
The existence of a heavy water facility near the town of Arak first emerged with the publication of satellite images by the US-based Institute for Science and International Security in December 2002.Heavy water is used to moderate the nuclear fission chain reaction either in a certain type of reactor – albeit not the type that Iran is currently building – or produce plutonium for use in a nuclear bomb.
Bushehr – Nuclear power station
Iran’s nuclear program began in 1974 with plans to build a nuclear power station at Bushehr with German assistance. Moscow delayed completion on the project while the UN Security Council debated and then passed resolutions aimed at stopping uranium enrichment in Iran. In December 2007, Moscow started delivering the canisters of enriched uranium the plant needs. There are two pressurized water reactors at the site. When it was inspected by the IAEA in October 2011, the agency noted that the reactor was in operation.
Gachin – Uranium mine
In December 2010, Iran said it had delivered its first domestically produced uranium ore concentrate, or yellowcake, to a plant that can make it ready for enrichment. Iran was believed to be running low on its stock of yellowcake, originally imported from South Africa in the 1970s.
Isfahan – Uranium conversion plant
Iran is building a plant at a nuclear research facility to convert yellowcake into three forms:
• Hexafluoride gas – used in gas centrifuges
• Uranium oxide – used to fuel reactors, albeit not the type Iran is constructing
• Metal – often used in the cores of nuclear bombs. The IAEA is concerned about the metal’s use, as Iran’s reactors do not require it as fuel.
Natanz – Uranium enrichment plant
Iran resumed uranium enrichment work at Natanz in July 2004, after a halt during negotiations with leading European powers over its program. It announced in September 2007 that it had installed 3,000 centrifuges, the machines that do the enrichment.
This is the facility at the heart of Iran’s dispute with the United Nations Security Council. The Council is concerned because the technology used for producing fuel for nuclear power can be used to enrich the uranium to a much higher level to produce a nuclear explosion.
The overall complex is one of Iran’s leading munitions centers – for the research, development and production of ammunition, rockets and high explosives. A limited inspection carried out by the IAEA in 2005 found no proof of any nuclear weapons activity at Parchin. But according to information from an IAEA report in November 2011, it is believed the site has also been used for testing high explosives that could be used in nuclear weapons.
Qom – Uranium enrichment plant
In January 2012, Iran said it had begun uranium enrichment at the heavily fortified site of Fordo near the holy city of Qom. Iran says the Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) is for use as a fuel in research reactors. Uranium – with a concentration of 20% or more – is needed to build nuclear weapons.