Dash Time

Correct me if I’m wrong, but if Israel got rid of its own illegal nukes (you know, the ones we never talk about), wouldn’t that pretty much remove the incentive for Iran to have them? Or am I missing something?

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, citing evidence of continued troubles inside Iran’s nuclear program, has persuaded Israel that it would take roughly a year — and perhaps longer — for Iran to complete what one senior official called a “dash” for a nuclear weapon, according to American officials.

Administration officials said they believe the assessment has dimmed the prospect that Israel would pre-emptively strike against the country’s nuclear facilities within the next year, as Israeli officials have suggested in thinly veiled threats.

For years, Israeli and American officials have debated whether Iran is on an inexorable drive toward a nuclear bomb and, if so, how long it would take to produce one. A critical question has been the time it would take Tehran to convert existing stocks of low-enriched uranium into weapons-grade material, a process commonly known as “breakout.”

Israeli intelligence officials had argued that Iran could complete such a race for the bomb in months, while American intelligence agencies have come to believe in the past year that the timeline is longer.

“We think that they have roughly a year dash time,” said Gary Samore, President Obama’s top adviser on nuclear issues, referring to how long it would take the Iranians to convert nuclear material into a working weapon. “A year is a very long period of time.”

8 thoughts on “Dash Time

  1. I don’t think it would. Iran saw what happened to Iraq (no nukes) as opposed to what happened to North Korea (nukes).

  2. Israel’s nukes aren’t illegal. Like India and Pakistan, they never signed the non-proliferation treaty. Iran did. (North Korea did, and then withdrew)

  3. Then why is it that the U.S. always sidesteps the issue and refuses to acknowledge that Israel even has nukes? I don’t get it.

  4. The US has bought into the Israeli position, which is to be cagey about whether or not they have nukes. We also made a lot of noise about Pakistan not having signed the treaty back in the early 90’s, which made us look like hypocrites to the rest of the world. As to why Israel has the policy, I’ve never understood it, (it probably has to do with the fact that they’d have to open facilities to inspection, and Israel has legitimate reasons historically for being suspicious of the UN) but it dates back to at least the Johnson administration. (LBJ tried to twist Israel’s arm to sign the non-proliferation treaty by holding up jet sales, then backed down. Lots of scholars think that Israel already had them then) In terms of international law, though, they have them legally, since they never completed ratification of the treaty.

  5. Why would the Iranians want to stop their program just because of what Israel might give up? LOL!!!

  6. As JJ said, for Iran nukes are “anti-invasion insurance”. Now, there’s other ways to deal with that, like improved relations. Until a couple of years ago, the US was adamantly against that. Now that the US is more open to dialog, Iran seems to have decided that it doesn’t want improved relations.

    Sometimes it seems that the nations of the world are a bunch of cranky toddlers that really need a good long nap, or a spanking, or both.

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