Iran Is 'Weeks, Not Months' Away from Nuclear Breakout: State Department

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Posted: Feb 01, 2022 9:30 AM
Iran Is 'Weeks, Not Months' Away from Nuclear Breakout: State Department

Source: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

In the long list of foreign crises between which President Biden and his administration are bouncing, Iran has not gotten as much play in recent weeks in light of the deteriorating situation in Europe between Russian forces and the people of Ukraine. But according to a senior State Department official, Iran is continuing to move along with its nuclear ambitions and is now "weeks, not months" away from having enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb. 

"It’s fair to say that when it comes to [Iran's] capacity to have enough fissile material in which it – at weapons grade for a bomb, we’re talking about weeks, not months," the official said before noting "that’s different from the timeline for weaponization, for having a bomb."

But this isn't the first time the Biden administration has said talks with Iran "can't go on forever" and there were just "weeks" left in negotiations over the last ten-or-so months. In one answer given by the senior State Department official, the absurdity was relatively clear:

We’ve said this many times:  At the current pace, at Iran’s current pace, we only have very few weeks to reach a deal.  You’ve said that we’ve said that now for some weeks, so do the math.  There are many fewer weeks left now than there were when we first said it.

Perhaps even more absurd, the senior State Department official called the nuclear talks "a serious, businesslike negotiation," a description similar to how the Biden administration characterized its dealings with the Taliban.

The Biden administration has admitted before, as Townhall covered here, that its long-running negotiations with Iran and other nations seeking to curtail the regime's nuclear ambitions have only given Iran cover to ramp up its nuclear program. Now, though, the senior State Department official says negotiations are "in the final stretch" because "given the pace of Iran’s advances, its nuclear advances, we only have a handful of weeks left to get a deal, after which point it will unfortunately be no longer possible to return to the JCPOA and to recapture the nonproliferation benefits that the deal provided for us."

The senior State Department official, of course, conveniently omitted the contextual information regarding America's weakness over the last ten months or so the Biden administration has been trying to reengage Iran to get back into a mutual agreement on the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Nor did the official do anything but attack the actions of his predecessors in the Trump administration. Instead, there was just more talk of how ready the Biden administration was to lift sanctions on Iran.

Nevertheless, the State Department insists the most recent round of negotiations in Vienna that took place in January were the "most intensive" they've had to date. Despite the senior State Department official's rosy description of the negotiations, they added that "it is very possible that Iran chooses not to go down that path" but that the Biden administration is "ready to deal with that contingency." That "contingency," according to the State Department, is "more pressure – economic, diplomatic, and otherwise" that the senior official did not expound upon. 

The claim of being ready to deal with a nuclear-capable Iran in a matter of weeks deserves scrutiny given the Biden administration's past and current performances on the world stage. Afghanistan, Russia, China... does the Biden administration seem up to the task of handling a soon-to-be nuclear-capable and thereafter armed Iran? Doubtful. Especially after giving Iran nearly one year of time to play nice and pretend to go along with negotiations knowing that the United States would be reticent to take action against their nuclear progress during talks. 

If Iran is looking at what "pressure" from the United States looks like, it can take Russia as an example where President Biden allowed the Nord Stream II pipeline project to move forward. Or Afghanistan where President Biden's disastrous withdrawal saw the Taliban and other terrorists topple Kabul in a matter of days.