Report: Iran study estimates nuclear breakout would take years, not months

US officials have already reportedly disputed Iranian assessments that seemingly intend to downplay Western fears that Tehran could soon develop nuclear weapons.

June 13, 2014 15:11
1 minute read.
A general view of the Arak heavy-water project, 190 km (120 miles) southwest of Tehran

Iran's Arak heavy water reactor 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Iran published a study this week that said it would take years for the Islamic Republic to produce nuclear weapon with its current infrastructure, The New York Times cited a report published by the government in Tehran as stating.

According to the Times, Iran described the estimates as hypothetical on the amount of time it would take scientists and engineers to assemble a nuclear bomb.

The Iranian government issued the study in a move seemingly intended to downplay the West's fear that Iran's nuclear program is not solely intended for peaceful purposes.

American officials have disputed the Iranian report's assessment, according to the Times.

The report, titled "How Long Would an Iranian 'Breakout' Really Take?" was the first public acknowledgement by the country that it has studied the necessary measures needed to fuel an atomic bomb.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Iran  said it was "busy redesigning" the planned Arak research reactor to sharply cut its potential output of plutonium - a potential nuclear bomb fuel.

The West is worried that Arak, once operational, could provide a supply of plutonium - one of two materials, along with highly enriched uranium, that can trigger a nuclear explosion.

Israel has argued that any nuclear deal with Iran should demand the complete shutdown of the Arak reactor.

On Monday and Tuesday, senior American and Iranian officials held private meetings to discuss advancing talks with world powers over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, only six weeks before a self-imposed deadline on talks aimed at ending the crisis.

At the bilateral meeting, and in quotes placed in state-run Iranian media, Islamic Republic officials suggested world powers may have "no choice" but to extend the negotiations past the July 20 deadline.

In April, US Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate hearing that negotiators working on the Iranian nuclear issue were facing a time frame of "about two months" before a possible Iranian breakout.

Israelis have threatened to attack Iran unilaterally if they deem diplomacy incapable of denying it the bomb.

Michael Wilner and Reuters contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Bushehr nuclear Iranian
August 5, 2014
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations