US sees Iran only weeks away from nuclear bomb

“In terms of Iran’s ability to have enough fissile material, we’re talking weeks, not months,” a top US diplomat told reporters on Monday afternoon (local time). The nuclear talks in Vienna were interrupted for consultations in the capitals “to see whether the heads of government are ready to make the tough decisions that are now necessary”.

Iran has been able to shorten the time required to build a nuclear bomb (“nuclear breakout”) in a way that is “extremely dangerous”. In view of the progress in Iran’s nuclear program, there is only “a handful of weeks” left for a deal at the Vienna talks, according to the diplomat. The USA did not take part in these talks after the withdrawal from the Vienna nuclear deal announced by then-President Donald Trump. Rather, Russia, China and three European states, as the remaining contracting parties with Iran, are discussing ways of getting Tehran to comply with the terms of the deal again. Tehran only wants to do this if the sanctions announced by Trump are completely lifted.

Washington sees “a way to a deal,” said the US diplomat. There has been progress, but be prepared for the possibility that Tehran does not want to return to the nuclear deal. In any case, the talks are “in the home straight”.

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