Iran can produce nuclear weapons in a matter of months, says top defense official
According to a senior US military official, Iran would be only months away from developing a nuclear weapon if it decided to build a bomb.
“Since the Iranian decision… Iran could produce fissile material to build a nuclear weapon in less than two weeks, and it will take several more months to produce a real nuclear weapon,” Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress Thursday.
Milley presented a much shorter timeline than officials previously had when discussing Iran’s nuclear capability.
He added that the US would not allow Iran to have “armed nuclear weapons”.
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“We, the United States military, have developed several options for our national leadership to consider if Iran ever decides to develop a real nuclear weapon,” Milley said.
Officials remain concerned about Iran’s nuclear capability after attempts to revive it Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actionknown as the Iran nuclear deal, which the US withdrew from during the Trump administration in 2018.
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Unnamed senior diplomats told Bloomberg in February that Iran accumulated enriched uranium up to 84% purity, 6% below what is needed for weapons, the highest level found by inspectors in Iran to date.
Earlier, Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that its centrifuges are set to enrich uranium to a purity level of 60%.
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It remains unclear whether the material was intentionally produced or if it was unintentional accumulation in the centrifuges used for isotope separation.
The timeline for developing nuclear weapons remains unclear, with some experts estimating that it could take anywhere from six months to three years. according to The Wall Street Journal.
Gary Samor, director of the Royal Center for Near East Studies at Brandeis University and a former White House official during the Obama administration, told the magazine that no one can tell “how quickly Iran can resume and complete the research and development work they’ve been doing.” until 2003″.
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Colonel Dave Butler, Gen. Milley declined to elaborate on his assessment to Congress, telling the Journal that “the chairman’s statement speaks for itself.”
Bradford Betz of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.