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Israel Puts Iran Nuclear Breakout Time At 4–6 Months with Deal

The talks are expected to continue through at least next week. It’s unclear whether a breakthrough can be achieved.
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Israeli government experts believe that a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran will set the amount of time Tehran needs to produce the amount of highly enriched uranium needed for a nuclear bomb to four to six months, a senior Israeli official told me.

Why it matters: This assessment is shorter than the six to nine month breakout time the Biden administration experts calculated, per two Israeli officials familiar with strategic consultations between the U.S. and Israel.

The big picture: The standard set by the 2015 nuclear deal was one year breakout time.

  • But Iran’s nuclear advances since the Trump administration withdrew from the deal made this standard irrelevant.
  • U.S. and Israeli officials say that Iran’s current breakout time — without a deal in place — is only about five weeks.

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