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Iran is 10 weeks from a nuclear weapon, Israel says

A test-fire of the Fateh-110, an Iranian Ballistic single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile. (Hossein Velayati/Wikimedia Commons)
August 05, 2021

On Wednesday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that Iran has abandoned all restraints from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and he now believes Iran could enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels within 10 weeks.

“Iran has violated all of the guidelines set in the JCPOA and is only around 10 weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade materials necessary for a nuclear weapon,” Gantz told the United Nations Security on Wednesday, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Gantz also warned the U.S. “Iran would use a break in JCPOA talks to advance its nuclear program.”

Israel has opposed efforts under President Joe Biden to restore the JCPOA. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement in 2018 and Iran has since proceeded to stockpile and enrich uranium beyond the levels they agreed to in the JCPOA.

Gantz repeated his warning about Iran’s nuclear advances in an interview with Israel’s Ynet on Thursday. He said within about 10 weeks, Iran would have enough fissile material to form the core of a nuclear weapon.

Gantz further told Ynet that Israel is “ready to attack Iran.”

“We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran,” Gantz added. The world needs to take action against Iran now.”

“We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran,” Gantz added. The world needs to take action against Iran now.”

Gantz offered his comments following an attack on an Israeli oil tanker, Mercer Street, on Friday. Israel, the U.S. and the United Kingdom suspect Iran was behind the attack on Mercer Street.

“There is no doubt that Iran seeks to pose a multi-arena challenge to Israel, so it is building its force in Lebanon and the force in Gaza, deploying militias in Syria and Iraq, supporting Houthis in Yemen,” Gantz told Ynet. “I explained to the ambassadors – Iran is a global and regional problem and a challenge to Israel.”

In his comments before the U.N. Security Council, Gantz said, “The world must apply economic sanctions and take operative action against the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

Iran did not immediately respond to Gantz’ comments to the U.N., however, Iran’s chargé d’affaires in New York, Zahra Ershadi, sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council in which she called Israel “the main source of instability and insecurity in the Middle East and beyond for more than seven decades,” reported.

Ershadi further accused Israel of its own attacks on shipping throughout the Middle East.

“This regime has a long dark record in attacking commercial navigation and civilian ships,” Ershadi wrote. “In less than two years, this regime has attacked over 10 commercial vessels carrying oil and humanitarian goods destined to Syria.”