At a recent hearing by the House Armed Services Committee, a top Pentagon official warned Iran could make enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb in just 12 days, which is a much shorter time frame than was possible for the regime five years ago.
In his testimony, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahn said when the Trump administration decided to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, it would have taken Iran about 12 months to produce one bomb's worth of fissile material.
Reacting to the troubling news, national security analyst Kirk Lippold says the 12-day window can come at any time.
“And what that enrichment shows,” he warns, “is that regardless of the JCPOA, Iran has continued to pursue the development of a nuclear weapon, regardless of that agreement.”
Now the Middle East will stumble into a nuclear arms race when Iran has a nuclear weapon, Lippold says, and there is only one country standing in the way.
“The only country," he tells AFN, "that is laying a marker in the sand, telling Iran if you develop a nuclear weapon we will take action, both non-kinetic and kinetic, is Israel."