Iran’s leaders mulling nuclear weapons, NYT says, citing Iranian officials

The Times of Israel reports: “Iran’s leadership is conducting a ‘strategic debate’ over whether the time has come for it to start making nuclear weapons, The New York Times reported on Thursday, citing four Iranian officials, including diplomats and members of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Pointing out that three senior officials close to Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei have publicly declared in recent weeks that Iran’s ostensible no-nuclear-weapons doctrine is reversible if the country deems itself to be facing an existential threat, the Times reported that Iran’s ‘power circles’ are discussing whether it is ‘time to weaponize the nuclear program and build a bomb.’

It noted that Iran has enriched enough uranium to 60 percent purity for at least three bombs. It has also installed 1,400 ‘next-generation centrifuges’ at its Fordow enrichment facility in recent weeks, and would thus be able to double that inventory in weeks or months should it so choose. (Uranium enriched to 60% can be converted to bomb-grade fuel in days or weeks, the report stated.)

The Fordow facility is buried so deep, the report added, quoting military officials, that it would require ‘repeated, precise strikes by the United States’ largest ‘bunker buster’ to reach down that deep…”

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