Former IAEA Inspector Wrongly Claims Iran Breakout Time Is ‘Now Zero’

Makes misleading claims about Iran's high-enriched uranium stockpile

Continuing fear-mongering around Iran’s nuclear program with seemingly deliberately misleading claims, former IAEA inspector David Albright has claimed the breakout time for Iran is “now zero” and that they have enough high-enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon.

This is a step up from previous claims, equally wrong, that Iran is “weeks away” from breakout. In both cases, the claims are wildly misleading, as Iran has no weapons-grade uranium at all, and never made an attempt to produce any.

It would be just as accurate to say Iran’s breakout time is the same as every other nation with an extant nuclear program and no weapons-grade uranium. It’s not square one, but it is very wrong to suggest weaponization is imminent.

Albright concedes that he doesn’t know how long it would take Iran to make weapons, if it tried to do so. He considered a crude explosive could be made in “less than six months.”

Even that is just a guess. These scary predictions rest on Iran trying to do something they plainly are not doing, and have publicly ruled out doing.

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.