This report provides an estimate of how soon Iran could have fueled a nuclear weapon before the implementation of the new nuclear agreement reached in 2015. It is phrased in the present tense from the standpoint of a reader looking forward from the autumn of 2015, shortly after the agreement was reached. The data below, which are based on reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency, describe Iran’s uranium stockpile, its centrifuges, and the rate at which its nuclear capacity had grown.
As the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program approach the June 30 deadline for a final deal, a crucial issue remains unresolved: inspections.
The country’s supreme leader has proclaimed military sites strictly off-limits to inspectors, while the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, has said such inspections are a key priority. If the ongoing talks hold to form, the United States will either concede the issue or seek a compromise solution. The latter may be possible; the former would be dangerous.