bushehr - Reuters - December 9 2010
Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant. Photo by Reuters
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Iran could probably rebuild most of its centrifuge workshops within six months after an attack on its nuclear sites, according to a new report by U.S. congressional researchers, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The report by analysts at the Congressional Research Service, citing interviews with current and former U.S. officials, said that the Islamic Republic’s centrifuge “workshops” are widely dispersed and hidden, which could complicate a potential Israeli military strike.

According to the report, neither Israel nor the U.S. knows for certain where Iran’s nuclear facilities are located and the possibility of dispersed nuclear sites makes any assessment of a military strike’s success more difficult. It is “unclear what the ultimate effect of a strike would be on the likelihood of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons,” Bloomberg quoted the report as saying.

The congressional researchers said that, “An attack that left Iran’s conversion and centrifuge production facilities intact would considerably reduce” the time Iran would need to resume its nuclear activities.

Moreover, the researches quoted a former U.S. official as saying that Iran could probably replicate most of its centrifuge workshops within six months.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has recently voiced “serious concerns” about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear activities.

Iran denies suspicions that it is covertly seeking nuclear weapons capability, in part by coordinating efforts to process uranium, test high explosives and revamp a ballistic missile cone to accommodate a nuclear warhead.