Iran, the bomb and ‘less than a year’

http://www.kremlin.ru

Article Highlights

  • Will any set of sanctions top #Iran from getting a bomb? @dpletka

    Tweet This

  • Do we want to leave the #Iran nuclear weapons question up to Khamenei?

    Tweet This

  • Experts weigh in on the "less than a year" assessment of #Iran's nuclear aspirations

    Tweet This

At the AEI co-sponsored GOP presidential debate on national security, I asked this question: “Yesterday [Monday], the United States and UK slapped Iran with new sanctions. We haven’t bought oil directly from Iran in more than three decades, and have had targeted sanctions in place for more than half that time. Nonetheless, Iran is probably less than a year away from having a nuclear weapon. Do you believe there is any set of sanctions that will stop Iran from getting the bomb?”

While many in the journalism world focused on the quasi-answers to that question from the candidates, many Twitterati were more consumed by my “less than a year” assessment, challenging me to cite a source. Okey dokey folks. Here’s David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security (by no standards a “conservative” or “pro-Israel” outfit):

Iran could make enough for a bomb in little more than six months using 1,000 advanced centrifuges if it decided to divert its stock of U.N. safeguarded low enriched uranium in a dash for a weapon.

Here’s the more hawkish Bipartisan Policy Center’s take:

We calculate that, if it chooses, Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear device in just 62 days using its existing stockpiles and current enrichment capability.

Quibblers will suggest that there are important “ifs” in both these assessments. And yes, the key “if” is “if” Iran decides to build a bomb. So, I suppose when I said “less than a year away from having a nuclear weapon,” I should have added, “if they want one.” But… isn’t that the point? Do we want to leave this decision up to Khamenei?

Danielle Pletka is vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at AEI

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

What's new on AEI

Defeating ISIS: AEI experts weigh-in before the president’s address on Wednesday
image Degrading, defeating, and destroying the Islamic State
image Wealth Building Home Loan: Building wealth through homeownership and retirement savings
image The $3 iPhone
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 15
    MON
  • 16
    TUE
  • 17
    WED
  • 18
    THU
  • 19
    FRI
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

Event Registration is Closed
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m. – Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.
Third international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications

We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.

Event Registration is Closed
Friday, September 19, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Reforming Medicare: What does the public think?

Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.