Monday, July 2, 2012

Iran "Several Years" from Nuclear Weapon

Not to downplay the danger of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon or anything, but it would be nice if intelligence agencies had a clue as to how far Iran actually is from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Because this "several years" thing is getting tiresome.

USA Today, September 1, 2004:

Iran denies that it intends to make weapons and is still believed to be several years away from having the capability to turn nuclear fuel into working bombs.

Mail & Guardian (South Africa), May 24, 2005

Chipman said that even if Iran resumes its activities, the country will still be “several years away” from being capable of making nuclear weapons.

New York Times, January 13, 2006

Fortunately, Iran is believed to still be several years away from being able to produce nuclear weapons. But it has now embarked on a course that can have no other plausible intent.

New York Times, May 3, 2006

Here are two final thoughts, one comforting, one not. First, there is time: Iran appears to be several years from making nuclear weapons. Time can bring surprises, including regime changes.

The Economist, February 8, 2007

This is a promising approach. The diplomacy at the United Nations proceeds at a glacial pace. But Iran is thought to be several years from a bomb.

Bloomberg, October 28, 2007

Still, Iran should open its nuclear program to inspections and halt attempts to enrich uranium, a step necessary to build an atomic bomb, as demanded by the UN, ElBaradei said. He said U.S. officials estimate that Iran is still several years away from being able to refine material for a weapon.

Associated Press, August 6, 2008

Israel believes Tehran will have enriched enough uranium for a nuclear bomb by next year or 2010 at the latest. The United States has trimmed its estimate that Iran is several years or as much as a decade away from being able to field a bomb, but has not been precise about a timetable.

May 21, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a Senate panel that she was concerned about a series of developments in Iran that could set off an arms race in the Middle East. She warned that if Iran obtained a nuclear capacity in the next several years, it would constitute an “extraordinary threat,” saying, “Our goal is to persuade the Iranian regime that they will actually be less secure” if it moves ahead with its nuclear program.

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