Iran is reportedly one month away from having enough highly enriched uranium for "a single nuclear weapon," the New York Times reported Tuesday.
On Monday, the Institute for Science and International Security issued a report based on findings from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran is nearing weapons-grade levels of uranium (WGU). If Iran intensifies its nuclear development, it may have enough fuel for a nuclear weapon within a month, the New York Times reports.
The IAEA further reported that Iran may achieve enough fuel for a second nuclear weapon within three months, with a third nuclear weapon in five months.
The IAEA reports:
A worst-case breakout estimate, which is defined as the time required to produce enough WGU for one nuclear weapon, is as short as one month. Iran could produce a second significant quantity of WGU in less than three months after breakout commences. It could produce a third quantity in less than five months, where it would need to produce some of the WGU from natural uranium.
Despite Iran closing in on achieving enough fuel for its first nuclear weapon, the New York Times reports that the pariah state’s next hurdle would be assembling a ballistic missile warhead that would deliver the bomb, which would take considerably longer.
On Friday, David Albright, a former IAEA inspector and the founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, said Iran’s nuclear development is an effort to pressure the U.S. into giving Iran more relaxed terms for returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, which former President Trump withdrew from in 2018.
“We have to be careful not to let them scare us,” Albright said.
During a trip to Germany on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Iran’s rapid progression in its nuclear development may render the 2015 nuclear deal no longer feasible.
“I’m not going to put a date on it,” Blinekn told the New York Times and other reporters, “but we are getting closer to the point at which a strict return to compliance” with the old deal “does not reproduce the benefits that agreement achieved.”
“As time goes on and as Iran continues to make advances in its nuclear program, including spinning more sophisticated centrifuges, enriching more material, learning more, there is a point at which it would be very difficult to regain all of the benefits,” Blinken added. “We’re not at that point yet, but it’s getting closer.”