|Notion of Iran’s nuclear ‘breakout’ is meaningless: Brzezinski||
TEHRAN – Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. national security advisor, has said that the idea that Iran could “break out” to build a nuclear bomb in a short time is meaningless.
“The notion that’s been publicized in America that there could be a crazy Iranian rush to have the bomb in nine months is, to me, meaningless,” Brzezinski said in an interview with Foreign Policy published on Monday.
Western experts have defined Iran’s “breakout” time as how long it would take the country to produce enough highly refined uranium for a nuclear bomb, if it decided to develop such weapons. Western powers negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program want Tehran to significantly reduce its uranium enrichment capacity in order to lengthen this potential timeline.
Iran denies claims by a number of Western powers that it may be seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons and says its uranium enrichment program is only meant for peaceful purposes.
Asked whether Iran can be trusted as a partner of the United States as many in the region are anticipating a thaw in relations between Tehran and Washington in view of possible cooperation between the two countries to deal with militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the ongoing talks on Tehran’s nuclear program, Brzezinski said, “Basically, I see Iran as an authentic nation-state. And that authentic identity gives it cohesion, which most of the Middle East lacks.”
In reference to nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers, he said, “The question is how do you best solve that? I certainly don’t accept the notion that the best solution is all options are on the table, which is the politest way of saying we’re going to go to war if we don’t solve the nuclear problem quickly.
“The fact of the matter is Israel has an effective nuclear monopoly in the region, and it will have that for a long time. And one thing that the Iranians are certain not to do is to undertake some suicidal mission the moment they have one bomb.
“So the notion that’s been publicized in America that there could be a crazy Iranian rush to have the bomb in nine months is, to me, meaningless. What do you do with a single nuclear weapon that you have for the first time, that you haven’t tested, that you haven’t previously weaponized, that you cannot be sure that you can deliver effectively, and with which you cannot protect yourself from retaliation because you don’t have any more? And the Israelis have a very strong military, and they have about, what -- estimates are 150 to 200 bombs… so I think that issue is phony.”
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