US Officials Falsely Claim Iran Is Mere Weeks From Nuclear Breakout

60 day breakout doesn't stand up to scrutiny

Usually Israel originates false claims of an imminent Iran nuclear breakout, but this week it is US officials starting the panic, telling senators in an assessment that if the Iranians really wanted to, they could have enough fissile material to build a single bomb in only 60 days.

This statement is, of course, all built around wiggle words. Iran has a lot of fissile material, but has enriched none of it to weapons grade, and isn’t even attempting to do so. In the form of fuel for its power plant at Bushehr, Iran could have a lot of fissile material, but not be anywhere near a bomb.

We have to question what “breakout” capacity even means, as it clearly doesn’t mean 60 days for Iran to have a weapon. Rather, it seems to suggest some nebulous metric could be attained, if the Iranians decided to attain it, which they haven’t, and if everything went right after that.

All in all, Iran has no weapons-grade uranium at present, nor expectations that they’ll try to acquire any. The theoretical capacity of their enrichment program to make some, if they really wanted to, is a flimsy basis for such accusations, since once again there’s no reason to suspect this even might happen.

The whole point of these breakout dates isn’t to state facts, but to push political agendas. Normally, Israel to trying to steer the US into hawkish positions. In today’s case, US Democrats are trying to spin this as a problem caused by President Trump’s policy.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of