Iran now has the capacity to fuel 6 nuclear warheads in 1 month’s time, and 10 within 4 months, according to an analysis of the latest data released by a nuclear watchdog.
Iran has the resources and technical know-how to “produce enough [weapons-grade uranium] for six nuclear weapons in one month, eight in two months, nine in three months, and ten in four months,” according to the Institute for Science and International Security, a think tank that reviewed the latest disclosures about Tehran’s atomic stockpile from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
This is significantly faster than the three-to-four months it would have taken Iran to build just one nuclear weapon in 2020 when economic sanctions were at their strictest before the Biden administration took office. Now, it would take Iran just 12 days to produce the fuel needed for its first nuclear warhead and a total of six by the end of one month. This also is an increase from May 2023 estimates when it was thought Iran had enough uranium to power five nuclear weapons.
Iran has been growing its stockpile of highly enriched uranium since President Joe Biden took office and restarted diplomacy over a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear pact. In addition to not enforcing key sanctions on Iran—providing it access to nearly $45 billion in oil revenue—the administration recently freed up an additional $16 billion, a portion of which was the result of a hostage deal with the hardline regime.
“Washington’s de-escalation policy has clearly failed,” said Andrea Stricker, a veteran nuclear analyst who worked on the latest analysis about Iran’s current nuclear capacity. “Iran has amassed enough enriched uranium since May—after the negotiation of the alleged de-escalation deal—to grow its breakout capability from eight nuclear weapons to ten weapons.”