On Tuesday, a senior Pentagon official said Iran could produce enough fissile material to produce one nuclear bomb “within 12 days.”
Under Secretary of Defense for Political Affairs Colin Cale made the announcement at a meeting of the US House of Representatives after a Republican MP demanded that he find out why President Joe Biden’s administration was seeking to revive the nuclear deal.
“Iran’s nuclear progress since we pulled out of the JCPOA has been remarkable,” Kahl, the Pentagon’s third-ranking official, told US lawmakers.
He continued: “Back in 2018, when the previous administration decided to withdraw from the agreement, it was estimated that it would take Iran about 12 months to produce enough fissile material for one bomb. Now it will take about 12 days.”
“So I think there is still a perception that if you can solve this problem diplomatically and bring back the restrictions on their nuclear program, that’s better than the other options. But now the JCPOA is frozen,” he added.
US officials have said in previous statements that they estimate Iran could produce enough fissile material for a bomb within a few weeks if it decides to take such a step, but they did not specify a timeframe, as Cale did.
On Tuesday, news agencies quoted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as saying it was in talks with Iran about the origin of the 83.7% enriched uranium particles it found, slightly short of the 90% needed to produce nuclear weapons. bomb at Fordow enrichment plant.
The agencies have asked for “clarification” from Tehran, which has previously denied the veracity of reports of its 84 percent enrichment of uranium and spoke of “unintentional accumulation” due to technical difficulties in centrifuges used in enrichment, media reported.
Iran is now officially producing 60% enriched uranium at the Natanz and Fordow facilities, well above the 3.67% threshold set by the agreement.