Foreign and Defense Policy, Middle East and North Africa

Iran and the ticking clock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Successive quarterly reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have detailed Iran’s technical advances and the steady, unchecked expansion of its nuclear infrastructure. The findings of the most recent report demonstrate again how Iran is enhancing and diversifying its capability to field a nuclear weapons arsenal. There is, as I note in a recent technical assessment, increasing risk that Iran will be able to produce nuclear weapons fuel (the long pole in the tent of nuclear weapons-building) with immunity. Moreover, Iran is putting the pieces in place for a breakout that would go well beyond the North Korea model. Factors like the increasing quantity and quality of centrifuges, the development of an alternative path to weapons fuel, and a growing stockpile of enriched uranium will allow Iran to quickly build a sizeable and varied nuclear arsenal.

Stay tuned for a forthcoming report addressing the broader policy implications of Iran’s current trajectory.

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