Senior U.S. General Says Iran ‘Very Close’ to Building a Nuclear Bomb, ‘Variety’ of Military Options on the Table
TIME magazine: The “top U.S. commander in the Middle East says his forces stand ready with a potential military option should talks fail.”
As Iran boosts its stockpile of enriched uranium, the U.S. military believes that the regime will soon be capable of building a nuclear bomb. Tehran is “very close” to acquiring a nuclear arsenal, General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, told Time magazine.
According to the general, the Iranian regime is poised to reach the ‘breakout’ point, a stage where it possesses all the components required for a nuclear weapon. “They’re very close this time,” Gen. McKenzie said. “I think they like the idea of being able to breakout.”
With the Biden administration’s nuclear talks with the Mullahs heading nowhere, the U.S. military is looking at several options to stop them from going nuclear, the general assured.
Time reported Gen Kenneth McKenzie’s remarks:
Less than a week before world powers resume negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East says his forces stand ready with a potential military option should talks fail.
“Our president said they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon,” General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, tells TIME. “The diplomats are in the lead on this, but Central Command always has a variety of plans that we could execute, if directed.” (…)
“They’re very close this time,” McKenzie says. “I think they like the idea of being able to breakout.”
The Institute for Science and International Security, a non-profit think tank that specializes in nuclear weapons analysis, issued a report in September that found Iran could produce enough fissile material to build a nuclear weapon in a month under a “worst-case breakout estimate.” After breakout begins, Iran could produce a second weapon in less than three months, then a third in less than five months.
Israel Concurs With U.S. General
Gen. McKenzie’s assertion that Iran is getting closer to acquiring a nuclear bomb is in line with the assessment made by the Israeli government.
“Iran is becoming a nuclear threshold country,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month. “The Iranians are clearly dragging their heels, trying to cheat the world to continue to enrich uranium, to develop their ballistic missile program.”
The Iranian regime itself boasts of ramping up its stockpile of near weapons-grade uranium. “Iran said it has almost doubled its stock of enriched uranium in less than a month, as it prepares to resume talks with world powers on curbing its nuclear program,” the CBS News reported earlier this month.
Iran Blocks UN Nuclear Inspectors
The regime has recently blocked the United Nations inspectors from accessing a critical nuclear site. The UN nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), cannot monitor and verify Iranian nuclear activities.
The IAEA “will soon be unable to guarantee equipment is not being diverted to make atom bombs,” Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing the UN nuclear agency’s chief Rafael Grossi.
Despite alarming signs, the Biden administration hasn’t given up the hope of coaxing the Mullah regime into the framework of the Obama-era nuclear deal. “We continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to deal with the challenges, the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program,” Secretary Blinken said late last month.
Israel’s IDF Plans Possible Strike on Iran’s Rogue Nuke Program
Not relying on President Joe Biden’s assurances, Israel is preparing for a possible strike on Iranian nuclear weapons sites.
“Israel has approved a budget of some 5 billion shekels ($1.5 billion) to be used to prepare the military for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear program,” the Times of Israel reported in October. The Israeli media reports say that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has ordered several U.S.-made aircraft, reconnaissance drones, and weaponry for a possible covert operation.DONATE
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