Iran could acquire enough nuclear material to build a bomb within just 10 weeks, Israel has warned, reports dailymail.com.
Defence minister Benny Gantz sounded the alarm over Iran’s nuclear stockpile at the UN Security Council this week, urging world leaders to take action.
‘Iran… is only around 10 weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade materials necessary for a nuclear weapon,’ Gantz said
‘Now is the time for deeds – words are not enough,’ he added. ‘It is time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds.’
Gantz’s warning comes four months after Iran said it would start enriching uranium to 60 per cent purity, a key step on the path to 90 per cent enriched uranium that is required to make a bomb.
Shortly before Iran began increasing the purity of its uranium stockpile, analysts from the Arms Control Association estimated that its ‘breakout time’ – the time it would take to produce enough material for one bomb – was 12 months.
Now, Gantz believes the breakout time has been reduced to a little over two months.
However, that does not mean that Iran is 10 weeks away from acquiring a fully-fledged nuclear bomb.
To build a weapon, Iran would have to encase the weapons-grade material in a nuclear core, mount the core on the tip of a missile, and then acquire the technology to launch it, have it land accurately on a target, and detonate.
While little is known for certain about Iran’s nuclear capabilities, the regime is not thought to possess much of this technology.
Some analysts believe it would take Iran two to three years just to produce a viable warhead, assuming they were able to work on it without outside interference.
David Albright, a former weapons inspector, has previously said that Tehran could advance the process much quicker – but still believes the regime is around two years away from having a viable nuke.
Iran is also not thought to possess intercontinental ballistic missiles of the kind required to launch a nuclear weapon at the West.