US General: Iran ‘Very Close’ to Nuclear Weapon
i24 News – A top United States military general claimed on Wednesday that Iran will have the ability to build a nuclear weapon in the near future, adding that the US is ready with other options to prevent the country from doing so if diplomacy fails.
“Our president said they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon,” Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command told TIME Magazine.
“The diplomats are in the lead on this, but Central Command always has a variety of plans that we could execute, if directed.”
McKenzie’s comments are the clearest notion of a military option, while other US officials have recently spoken of “other options” should efforts to revive the nuclear deal with Iran fail.
The top US commander in the Middle East added that he believes Tehran has not decided to advance the production of an actual warhead, but that the regime is putting itself in a position where it could do so in a short period.
“They’re very close this time,” McKenzie said, TIME Magazine reported.
“I think they like the idea of being able to break out.”
A UN nuclear watchdog reported last week that Iran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium was at 5,488 pounds as of November 6, many times in excess of the limit laid down in the 2015 JCPOA agreement.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett signaled readiness to step up confrontations with Iran, stating that Israel is not bound by any Iranian nuclear deal.