Cantor: Iran report 'extremely alarming'

Anne Wernikoff

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) called a report that claims Iran is one month away from a nuclear bomb “extremely alarming,” and said military action should be on the table.  

"The report that Iran may be a month away from possessing enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb is extremely alarming,” he said in a release. “Whether a month or a year, Iran's determined march toward possessing nuclear weapons is a direct and grave threat to the United States and our allies.”

Cantor warned a strike on Iran should be considered. 

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"Iran needs to immediately end its systematic noncompliance with the repeated demands of the U.N. Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency. For the United States, all options, including the use of military force, should be on the table to prevent Iran from acquiring the world's most dangerous weapons. We all want negotiations to succeed, but time is clearly running out."

report the Institute for Science and International Security released Thursday said, “In this case, Iran could produce one [significant quantity] in as little as approximately 1.0–1.6 months, if it uses all its near 20 percent [low enriched uranium] hexafluoride stockpile.”

“Using only 3.5 percent LEU, Iran would need at least 1.9 to 2.2 months and could make approximately 4 [significant quantities] of [weapons-grade uranium] using all its existing 3.5 percent LEU stockpile.” 

In response to the report, Israel has issued a warning. 

"We have made it crystal clear — in all possible forums, that Israel will not stand by and watch Iran develop weaponry that will put us, the entire Middle East and eventually the world, under an Iranian umbrella of terror," Danny Danon, Israel's deputy defense minister, told USA TODAY.

Meanwhile, Obama administration officials have said Iran is probably a year away from having enough uranium to make a bomb.  

A meeting is scheduled for world leaders in Geneva next month to discuss the path forward on Iran’s nuclear program. 

Iran became open to such negotiations after its President Hassan Rouhani and President Obama spoke by phone last month, marking the first communication between the two governments in more than 30 years. 

Rouhani, considered a moderate, said in an interview with NBC News that he doesn’t plan on producing any nuclear weapons as president. 

As the five permanent members of the Security Council — the U.S., Germany, Russia, France, Britain — plus China prepare to meet in November, the White House is asking Congress to hold off on additional sanctions against Iran.