Blinken says Iran ‘only weeks way’ from enough nuclear material for bomb

Blinken warned Iran is very close to the breakout time for a nuclear bomb.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Iran could have enough fissile uranium material for a nuclear weapon in “a matter of weeks” during an NBC interview on Sunday.

He said this would happen if Iran continues to lift restraints on its uranium production.

Iran announced on Jan. 2 that it was resuming production of uranium to 20% purity, well beyond the 3.67% limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Biden administration is eager to return to the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration and which then-President Donald Trump abandoned in May 2018.

Blinken told NBC that the U.S. is willing to re-enter the 2015 deal if Iran returns to compliance. He said the U.S. and its allies would then work on a “longer and stronger” agreement addressing other issues. It’s not clear if he meant loopholes and weaknesses in the deal pointed out by its critics, namely that the agreement paves the way for Iran to race to the bomb after certain sunset clauses expire.

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Israel strongly opposed the nuclear deal, as did Arab Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia. They said the deal ignored Iran’s true intentions to obtain a nuclear arsenal and didn’t address its destabilizing role and support for terror in the region.

A number of Biden appointees were involved in the original nuclear deal, reinforcing the president’s statements that he wants back in. Those appointees include Wendy Sherman, who led the State Department team negotiating the Iran deal under President Barack Obama.

Iran said recently it will not accept any changes or new partners to the deal. “The UN Security Council Resolution 2231 is a multilateral international agreement ratified by Security Council, and is in no way negotiable, and the parties are clear and unchangeable,” said an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Saturday.