Energy Secretary: If U.S. 'Undermines' Iran Deal, 'It's Not Going to Be a Very Good Day After'

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz downplayed concerns that Iran could secretly develop a nuclear weapon with the current agreement in effect, saying the U.S. would “know within weeks” if Iran cheated.

“The number one point is that the current reactor will not completed, actually a key central component, it’s called the calandria, is going to be removed and literally filled with concrete so that it cannot be used again,” Moniz said in a discussion held by the Jewish Federations of North America.

“Then, the P5+1, which will include the United States, will oversee the redesign of that reactor, the parameters are already agreed to on what that reactor can do, it’s two pages in the agreement if you want to look it up. As I said, it will be roughly a factor of 10 in the amount of plutonium reduction,” he added.

Moniz said that plutonium would not be “weapons grade.”

“If they were to try to cheat with that reactor we would know it within weeks and they would be still years away from the ability to turn that plutonium into a weapon so we have a lot of time,” he said.

Despite this, Moniz said the U.S. would “clearly” have to look out for covert activity.

“But I think we feel pretty confident in our ability to block that pathway,” he said.

Moniz was asked how long it would take Iran to produce a nuclear weapon.