CIA director says although Tehran could create and launch nuclear weapon in near future, he thinks Iran won’t go through with creating weapon of mass destruction.
By World Israel News Staff
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Burns said that Iran now has the capability to create a nuclear weapon within a matter of weeks, while adding that he believes the Islamic Republic’s leadership still hasn’t given the order to do so, in an interview aired on Saturday.
“To the best of our knowledge, we don’t believe that the supreme leader in Iran has yet made a decision to resume the weaponization program that we judge they suspended or stopped at the end of 2003,” Burns told CBS News.
“But the other two legs of the stool, meaning enrichment programs, have obviously advanced very far,” he added.
Burns’ remarks came on the heels of a report from the United Nation’s atomic agency inspectors, who found that Iran has now enriched uranium to 84 percent purity.
When uranium is enriched to 90 percent, it is considered nuclear weapons-grade.
“They’ve advanced very far to the point where it would only be a matter of weeks before they could enrich to 90 percent, if they chose to cross that line, and also in terms of their missile systems, their ability to deliver a nuclear weapon once they’ve developed it has also been advancing as well,” Burns said.
“We don’t see evidence that they’ve made a decision to resume that weaponization program, but the other dimensions of this challenge I think are growing at a worrisome pace to.”
Burns did not provide evidence or an explanation as to why believes Iran would increase its uranium enrichment levels – far above what was laid out in the original 2015 nuclear deal – without the intention of creating nuclear weapons.
In November 2022, Iran sent a delegation to Vienna, Austria in order to resume negotiations for long-stalled talks aimed at convincing Tehran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Iran believes that the diplomatic process is the best process to secure the interests of the negotiating parties in connection with the [deal],” Iranian Foreign Minister Nasser Kanaani said in a media statement at the time.
“But we are not optimistic about the current trend [of the discussions]. We have always been realistic, and we will remain that way… [but at the moment] we are pessimistic.”
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