Iran Advancing Key Elements of Its Nuclear Program – John Hannah
(dailyalert.org, Feb. 11, 2015)
Iran appears to be working systematically to advance all three of the elements essential to its nuclear weapons program: 1) the ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade (by developing more powerful centrifuges); 2) a nuclear explosive device (the continued work by the U.S.-sanctioned Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research); and 3) a delivery vehicle (the ballistic missile program). The Iranians have been using the breathing space provided by the interim deal to improve parts of their weapons program that aren’t yet quite up to snuff. In terms of sheer technical capability, Iran will be in a better position to breakout to a bomb in the aftermath of the interim deal than before it took effect.
The pretense that this process was about compelling a rabidly anti-American theocracy that has been at war with America for four decades to surrender permanently its nuclear weapons ambitions is now out the window. In its place, what remains is the quixotic pursuit of some form of grand bargain, a rapprochement that – while leaving the bulk of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in place – will somehow work over time to tame the Islamic Republic.
We see today an Iran on the march throughout the region, plotting terror attacks in the Western Hemisphere, and actively seeking to advance key elements of its nuclear program in the middle of a negotiation whose very purpose is to end that program. At the same time, an increasingly anxious Congress, contemplating a rear-guard action to increase U.S. leverage and stop Iran’s weapons program before it’s too late, is being smeared at every turn as warmongers and political opportunists. Something is indeed terribly amiss with this picture. The writer is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Foreign Policy)