Iran’s Short Breakout Time Under JCPOA 2.0

With the United States and Iran closing in on a return to the JCPOA nuclear agreement, the revived deal will likely fail to restore what its Obama-era predecessors claimed as the JCPOA’s primary benefit – putting Iran at least a year away from being able to enrich a bomb’s worth of fissile material. Indeed, if the restored deal keeps the same terms as the original by permitting Tehran to store its advanced centrifuges, we estimate breakout time would be 4.8-6.5 months until early 2026, at which point the JCPOA permits Iran to steadily shrink these timeframes further. Unless the Biden administration insists Iran ship out or destroy its advanced centrifuges, any new deal will delay Iran’s nuclear program only half as much for half as long as the original deal – far from “putting Iran in a box,” as the administration claims it wants.

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JINSA Staff Contributors

Blaise Misztal – Vice President for Policy
Jonathan Ruhe – Director of Foreign Policy