Netanyahu: Iran is Dangerously Close to Nuclear BombBy Matt Vasilogambros | Sunday, September 16, 2012 | 11:09 a.m. Photo: AP Photo/Uriel Sinai
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Iran is just over six months away from having the uranium enrichment capabilities to build a nuclear weapon.
Further pushing the idea that a “red line” should be set that Iran cannot cross in the development of their nuclear program, Netanyahu said the rogue nation is dangerously close to provoking an Israeli retaliation.
“They’re moving very rapidly to completing the enrichment of the uranium that they need to produce a nuclear bomb,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union. “In six months or so, they’ll be 90 percent of the way there.”
In order to get to bomb-grade enrichment, Iran needs the uranium to get to 20 percent purity, and Iran has stockpiled 201.5 pounds of the 20 percent material, Reuters reports. Iran would need 440 to 550 pounds for a bomb.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice that Iran does not yet have enough for a bomb, and that the U.S. economic sanctions have been crippling to the Iranian economy.
“They are not there yet,” Rice said. “And our assessment is, and we share this regularly with our Israeli counterparts in the intelligence and defense community, that there is time and space for the pressure we are mounting.”
Netanyahu said on Sunday that it was important for the U.S. to join Israel in drawing a red line, the point at which Iran would provoke an attack.