Iran is close to enriching enough uranium to build a functional nuclear weapon, according to US intelligence estimates. Commenting on the timeline, the former US Army chief of staff spoke out to warn that Iran’s nuclear weapons program was “dangerously close” to completion.
Asked how serious the threat of Iran getting a nuclear weapon, Mr Keane told Sky News Australia: ‘Well, that’s a fascinating question, and the Biden administration’s special envoy for negotiations with Iran, Robin O’Malley, when asked that question, he said, and I quote, ‘They’re weeks away from being able to assemble a nuclear bomb.
“A few weeks! Because they’re 60% enriched uranium and it doesn’t take much to get to 90% weapons grade.
“The other caveat to that though, is that having a bomb is one thing, arming it, and so you can deliver it, is quite another.
“Our intelligence thinks it would take another year or so to be able to take a bomb and miniaturize it so it can be placed on a ballistic missile or other delivery device.”
But yeah, we’re dangerously close here, Andrew,” the retired general continued.
“I think of all the areas that deal in the world where there is no conflict.
“It’s the one with the greatest potential for conflict.”
Iran’s military on Friday warned the United States and Israel against threatening Iran with force, Iranian media reported, after US President Joe Biden said he would use force as a last resort. to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“Americans and Zionists (Israel) know very well the price to pay for using the word ‘force against Iran,'” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, was quoted by media as saying. officials.
“Biden must have been sleepy when he threatened Iran,” he said, adding, “Watch your soldiers’ pants — they might get wet in the Persian Gulf!”
Asked by Israeli TV this week if his past statements that he would prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons meant he would use force against Iran, Biden replied: ‘If it was the last resort, yes’ .
On Thursday, Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a joint pledge to deny nuclear weapons to Iran, an apparent move to respond to Israel’s calls for a “credible military threat” by world powers.
Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Tehran struck a deal with six major powers in 2015 under which it curtailed its uranium enrichment program to make it harder to develop a nuclear weapon in return for relief from international sanctions.
US President Donald Trump reneged on the deal in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to start violating the deal’s nuclear limits about a year later.
Diplomatic efforts to resurrect the deal have so far failed.