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Iran’s recent steps to breach the limits imposed on its nuclear program under the JCPOA have rekindled the debate about how quickly its nuclear program could “breakout,” or produce enough nuclear material for a bomb.
If the White House will not rule out the option of conducting new nuclear tests, Congress should step in to ensure that such testing is not an option the president may exercise unilaterally, now or in the future.
The Trump administration is weighing whether to conduct a nuclear test explosion as a negotiating standpoint as it seeks an arms control agreement with Russia and China. Making matters worse, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to authorize $10 million to execute a nuclear test if necessary.
A Sept. 4 IAEA report confirms that Iran continues to exceed limits on its uranium enrichment program imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal and is incrementally expanding its stockpile of uranium enriched up to 4.5 percent.