US Talks Israel Out of Attacking Iran (for Now)

Says Tehran at least a year from nuclear weapons
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2010 7:18 AM CDT
The reactor building of Bushehr nuclear power plant is seen just outside the city of Bushehr 750 miles (1,245 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Friday, Aug. 20, 2010.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

(Newser) – The Obama administration believes it has persuaded Israel not to attack Iran immediately, after convincing Israel that the rogue nation isn’t especially close to producing a nuclear weapon. The administration believes it will take Iran at least a year to finish a “dash” toward a nuclear weapon, officials tell the New York Times. Israeli intelligence had estimated the time line was closer to months; the US believes the new information it presented has put the brakes on any preemptive strike.

“A year is a very long period of time,” President Obama’s top nuclear adviser added. Things will heat up once Iran starts moving toward “breakout,” the process of enriching its low-enriched uranium into weapons-grade material. But to do that, Iran would have to show its hand by kicking out international inspectors, and then reconfigure all its sites, a time-consuming process. Israeli officials say they largely agree with that assessment, but worry that Iran might have a secret centrifuge hidden somewhere.

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