Iran could build a nuclear bomb in a year's time if it wants to, but would need more time to make the weapon usable against an enemy, U.S. officials told Congress on Wednesday.It seems that Cartwright is saying that Iran is 3-5 years away from having the ability to deliver a nuclear bomb on a missile. (The idea that Iran is not working on a delivery system in concert with building the bomb appears dangerously shortsighted to me as well. Why on earth would the systems have to be developed serially?)
Having said that Iran could amass sufficient highly enriched uranium to build one bomb in roughly a year, Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that a nation driving for a weapon generally needs three to five additional years to make the leap to a bomb it can field.
The timeline Cartwright cited Wednesday could be shortened if Iran pursued ways to deliver a weapon at the same time as it worked to build a bomb.
He seems not to be concerned that such a bomb could be delivered easily over land or via a ship.
Imagine, for example, another Iranian weapons ship being discovered by Israel like last year's boat with thousands of tons of weapons. Israel took that ship into port to catalog the weapons. What if one of them was nuclear - with a remote trigger?
Or what about Free Gaza's upcoming flotilla of ships meant to go to Gaza - but with a high probability that Israel will intercept it?
Iran doesn't need a missile to deliver a nuclear bomb to its most likely intended target. It just needs a person willing to kill himself for jihad.
I don't think there is a shortage of such people.
It already has missiles that can reach much of Europe, as well as most of the Arab world. While I'm not a rocket expert, the fact that Iran has sent satellites into space seems to me to be an indication that they already have the know-how to build an ICBM even without outside help.
Iran is also pursuing an aggressive ballistic missile program, and with outside help could produce an intercontinental missile capable of reaching the United States, a top intelligence official told the Senate Armed Services Committee.