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Iran will not be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015

Secretary Clinton said on Monday that Iran's ability to produce a nuclear weapon has been delayed by sanctions.

The timing of this statement is a bit awkward and insensitive considering the plane crash in Iran the day before, which resulted in the death of at least 77 people. After all, "Aircraft accidents are not uncommon in Iran, where international sanctions have prevented the country from buying new aircraft parts from the West" (FP).

Anyway, this is good news from Israel via the NY Times:

Israel's departing intelligence chief said he believes Iran will not be able to build a nuclear weapon before 2015 at the earliest, Israeli news media reported Friday, in a revised and surprisingly upbeat assessment of Tehran's nuclear capabilities. (...)

Israeli predictions for Iran's ability to make a nuclear bomb, which Israel considers an existential threat, have gradually lengthened in recent years.

In the early 2000s, Israeli intelligence branches spoke of Iran's making a bomb before the end of the decade. As recently as 2009, Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barak, said he thought Iran could do it by 2011. Last month, Moshe Yaalon, Israel's minister of strategic affairs, said he believed Iran was at least three years away from a nuclear bomb.

About a year ago, Mr. Dagan told a parliamentary committee that Iran would not have the ability to fire a nuclear missile until 2014, Yediot Aharonot reported. He is said to have based his latest estimate on an assumption that no further preventive actions are taken.

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Kevin Sampson on :

Yeah, and they said the Chinese wouldn't have a 5th gen fighter until 2018, too. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64K0MY20100521

Pat Patterson on :

I think the Israeli's just announced, soto voce, that they were responsible for Stuxnet.

Kevin Sampson on :

When did this happen?

Pat Patterson on :

An assumption based on the article above. It doesn't matter if Israel actually did plant Stuxnet but if Iran thinks it did tht alone is worth the hint.

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