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Analysis: An Iranian nuclear breakout? Not so fast.

The most significant violation of the agreement occurred last November, when Iran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground facility in Fordow.

The fact that this site is fortified against most types of attack means that Iran is again creating a kind of immune zone around a central element of its nuclear project.

Fordow nuclear facility access details.

On top of this, there are the other violations cited by MI, including the operation of advanced centrifuges and the accumulation of an increasing amount of enriched uranium – albeit at low level (3.67 percent) for the time being.

In April, by which time the Iranians will have accumulated a sufficient amount of uranium, about 1.3 tons’ worth, they will be able, theoretically, to advance to further levels of enrichment. In the course of the year they will be able to distill from that quantity about 40 kilos of high-level enriched uranium (90 percent), which is enough to manufacture one bomb. Two years from today, they would be capable of completing the entire project and attaining a nuclear weapon, in the form of a nuclear warhead that can be mounted on a ballistic missile.

But whether all of this actually occurs depends on a series of decisions, as former MI chief Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin tweeted on Wednesday. The key factor, he says, is whether Tehran decides to produce nuclear weapons.

“Iran has refrained from doing this for years and has preferred to establish threshold capabilities, which will allow it in the future to come to a decision and implement it,” says Yadlin. “There is a high probability that Iran has not yet made a decision to manufacture weapons, and therefore the countdown to Iranian nuclear weapons capability has not yet begun.”

Header: Satellite image shows the Fordo nuclear facility, just north of the holy city of Qom in Iran.