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The Iran time bomb, by Michael Hayden, Olli Heinonen and Ray Takeyh (Washington Post)

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Mar. 22, 2015

From Honest Reporting, Mar. 24, 2015:

In an important Washington Post op-ed, Michael Hayden, Olli Heinonen and Ray Takeyh debunk the idea that a one-year breakout time is sufficient to detect and reverse and Iranian violations of a nuclear deal.

In a nutshell, they point out that once there’s reason to believe Iran cheated, it would take months to confirm it, months for the IAEA to dicker with Iran for access and info, an unknown amount of time for the US to convince the UN Security Council to take action, and months for Iran to feel the effects of reimposed sanctions.

And the reality is that any cheating by Iran would always be incremental and never egregious. Throughout the duration of an agreement, there would be occasional reports of Iran enriching to unacceptably high levels and revelations of unreported nuclear installations and experimentation in weapon designs. Iran’s habit of lulling the world with a cascade of small infractions is an ingenious way to advance its program without provoking a crisis. In the end, a year simply may not be enough time to build an international consensus on measures to redress Iranian violations.

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