“Should the Iranians continue to enrich uranium at the current pace, they will have some 260 kg (about 570 pounds) of uranium refined to a fissile concentration of 20% in January or February of 2013. With this amount, it would take Iran only about two months to produce weapons grade uranium for a nuclear warhead or bomb – a “nuclear threshold” situation. Western intelligence officials have not identified any “technological bottleneck” that can prevent Iran from enriching uranium to a fissile concentration of +90%, meaning that it could theoretically become a nuclear power by mid-2014 or a few months later.
Such a nuclear “breakthrough” may result in a military confrontation with the US or other countries and put the regime in Tehran at risk. Iran believes that a reliable nuclear arsenal containing a number of nuclear warheads would prevent a military strike and even serve as a bargaining chip to lift the harsh economic sanctions imposed by the West. This is why Khamenei – before deciding on a nuclear “breakthrough” – will likely demand that Iran produce enough 20% enriched uranium for four nuclear warheads.
It is also very reasonable to assume that Tehran is secretly developing nuclear warheads which can be mounted on ballistic missiles already in its possession and on more accurate long-range missiles that are most likely being developed. Iran already possesses missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) that are capable of reaching Eastern Europe.
According to the Pentagon, in 2015 Iran will have missiles that can also pose a direct threat to the US.”