The Obama administration has assured Israel that Iran’s nuclear program is a good year from being able to create a nuclear bomb, perhaps staving off the possibility that Israel will launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran, according to a report in Friday’s New York Times.
The White House contends that difficulties Iran is having with its nuclear power facilities will confound its ability to fashion a nuclear weapon, the Times reported.
Global concerns about whether Iran is on hyperdrive toward a bomb have pivoted on how long it would take it to convert low-enriched uranium to weapons capability. Israeli intelligence has contended that it’s just around the corner, perhaps months away, while U.S. agencies believe it’s further off, the Times reported.
“We think that they have roughly a year dash time,” the Times quoted Gary Samore, President Obama’s top adviser on nuclear issues, as saying in reference to how long it would take the Iranians to convert nuclear material into a weapon. “A year is a very long period of time.”
U.S. officials believe that international inspectors will be able to expose any Iranian moves toward weapons status, which the Times reported would leave “a considerable amount of time for the United States and Israel to consider military strikes.”
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