Nuclear plans in chaos as Iran leader flounders | World | The Observer: "The detailed descriptions of Iran's problems in enriching more than a few grams of uranium using high-speed centrifuges - 50kg is required for two nuclear devices - comes in stark contrast to the apocalyptic picture being painted of Iran's imminent acquisition of a nuclear weapon with which to attack Israel. Instead, say experts, the break-up of the nuclear smuggling organisation of the Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadheer Khan has massively set back an Iran heavily dependent on his network.
A key case in point is that Tehran originally procured the extremely high-quality bearings required for the centrifuges' carbon-fibre 'top rotors' - spinning dishes within the machines - from foreign companies in Malaysia.
With that source closed down two years ago, Iran is making the bearings itself with only limited success. It is the repeated failure of these crucial bearings, say some sources, that has been one of the programme's biggest setbacks."