Blinken: If it further breaks deal, Iran could amass material for nuke in weeks

US secretary of state says at current rate Tehran is months away from being able to produce material for weapon, but timeframe could shorten

In this April 9, 2018, photo, released by an official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani listens to explanations on new nuclear achievements at a ceremony to mark “National Nuclear Day,” in Tehran, Iran. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that Iran was currently months away from being able to produce enough material to build a nuclear weapon. And, he said, that timeframe could be reduced to “a matter of weeks” if Tehran further violates restrictions it agreed to under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

“The time that it would take Iran to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon is down to, we think, a few months,” Blinken said, noting that he was relying on public reports and not new intelligence.

“It’s a problem that could get more acute, because if Iran continues to lift some of these restraints imposed by the agreement, that could get down to a matter of weeks,” Blinken said in an interview with NBC News broadcast Monday.

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