Repeated concessions by the Obama administration during ongoing nuclear talks with Iran have all but guaranteed that the Islamic Republic will emerge as a nuclear threshold state that could build a weapon with little effort, according to arms control experts who testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Stephen Rademaker, national security adviser for the Bipartisan Policy Center and former assistant secretary of state for arms control, international security, and nonproliferation during the George W. Bush administration, said during the hearing that the recent preliminary deal “fundamentally signifies acceptance by the international community of Iran as a nuclear weapons threshold state.”

President Barack Obama has touted the framework agreement completed at the end of March as a deal that would extend Iran’s nuclear breakout time—the duration required to amass enough nuclear material for a weapon—to a year. But he also acknowledged earlier this month that at the end of a 10-to-15-year deal, Tehran’s breakout time would be “almost down to zero.” “What we’re agreeing to here is a pathway, a process, but at the end of that pathway, 10 to 15 years, the football will be on the one-inch line,” Rademaker said. “That close to having a nuclear weapon. That fundamentally is what is being agreed to here.” MORE