Israel Continues False Predictions of Iranian Nuclear Breakout

Israeli officials have predicted breakout since the 1990s

After generations of research lead time and decades of ruling out ever seeking nuclear arms, officials continue to try to predict Iran’s nuclear breakout moment. Monday it was Secretary of State Tony Blinken, now Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz is stepping in.

Steinitz says Iran could get the uranium enriched “in around half a year” and that the weapons themselves are “around one or two years.” That’s slightly more realistic in that he recognized a difference between the two, unlike Blinken who just slapped a two weeks prediction on the whole process.

Blinken’s claim was built around Iran’s stockpile, while Steinitz seems to be continuing Israeli predictions since the early 1990s of hysteria about Iran. Coming and going predictions of an Iranian breakout, which never happens, makes all these predictions seem especially foolish, since Iran has ruled out ever attempting to obtain nuclear arms.

Iran’s enrichment is up to 20% for uranium, while weapons-grade would imply 90% or higher. Iran has never attempted to go beyond the 20%, so most of the allegations are built around assumptions that Iran can perfectly, and nigh-instantly, further enrich all their stockpile to weapons-grade.

Even recognizing Steinitz’s estimate at face value, Iran getting the stockpile and making a weapon is not really the end of things. Iran would need to test detonate a bomb to prove they work, which not only would start an immediate regional war, but would use up that entire stockpile and put them back to starting from scratch.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.