(RepublicanPeak.com) – A U.S. defense official on Tuesday estimated that Iran could produce enough fissile material for one nuclear bomb in “roughly 12 days,” down from the estimated one year it would have taken before the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
During a House of Representatives hearing, Undersecretary of Defense for Strategy Colin Kahl remarked in response to a question from a Republican legislator about why the Biden administration had attempted to resurrect the pact, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Legislators heard from Kahl, the third-highest senior officer in the Defense Department, that Iran had made significant nuclear development since the U.S. pulled out of the JCPOA. In 2018, when the previous administration chose to withdraw from the JCPOA, Iran needed around 12 months to develop enough fissile material for one weapon. That would take about 12 days now.
Kahl said he believes that some people still believe that a diplomatic solution to the problem, in which restrictions are placed on their nuclear program, would be preferable to the alternatives. The JCPOA, however, is now on hold, Kahl said.
The 12 days were more exact than previous U.S. estimates, which have placed Iran’s breakout time (the time it would take to obtain the fissile material for one bomb if it chose to do so) at weeks.
While U.S. officials claim Iran is now closer than ever to creating fissile material, they still do not think it has mastered the technology necessary to construct a nuclear weapon.
As part of the 2015 agreement, which former U.S. President Donald Trump renounced in 2018, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
With Trump’s reimposition of U.S. sanctions, Tehran resumed previously forbidden nuclear activities, reigniting U.S., European, and Israeli concerns that Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran says it has no such intentions.
The Biden administration has spent the past two years trying to revitalize the deal but to no avail.