U.S. Says Iran Has Nuclear Weapons Capability
On Monday last week, February 6, the United States gave its gravest assessment to date of Iran’s nuclear program. Officials stated that Iran has the ability to enrich uranium and complete the nuclear fuel cycle.
“I would say Iran does have the capability to develop nuclear weapons and the delivery means for those weapons,” U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control Robert Joseph told a news conference at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, d.c.
This marks the first time the U.S. has publicly confirmed that Iran has attained nuclear weapons capability.
According to Joseph’s assessment of Iran’s nuclear progress, the Islamic Republic has “tremendous resources” and “very sophisticated … very advanced scientific and technical” personnel to meet its nuclear objectives.
These statements come on the heels of the leaking of details of a European intelligence report revealing that Iran has been successful in obtaining sophisticated equipment needed to build a nuclear bomb.
Though talk of plans being drawn up for U.S. military action against Iran is intensifying, Tehran remains unperturbed. Meanwhile, the world continues to expend energy searching for a diplomatic solution.
When some hailed the agreement by China, Russia, Britain, France and the U.S. at the end of January to bring Iran before the United Nations Security Council (unsc) as a step forward, Stratfor described it as a “turning point without consequences” (January 31). It did, in fact, have consequences—just not the sort it was intended to have. Responding to a retaliatory demand by Iran, UN inspectors have removed most of their surveillance equipment from Iranian nuclear sites, leaving the International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea) with “only the most basic means to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities” (IsraelNationalNews.com, February 12). So, apparent agreement on taking action against Iran simply results in a more belligerent Iran.
Moreover, yesterday the UN confirmed that Iran has taken action on its decision last month to resume uranium enrichment at one of its plants. “The move is a huge step forward in the nuclear controversy,” Stratfor stated, “as it takes only about 110 pounds of highly enriched uranium to produce enough material for a bomb” (February 13).
As the evidence continues to stack, the farce continues. One day Iran is threatening to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (npt), the next day it is reaffirming its commitment to the treaty; one week it bars short-notice iaea access to its nuclear facilities, the next it gives the agency copies of documents outlining how to build nuclear warheads. Iran continues to advance its case that it wants a diplomatic solution on the one hand while frantically advancing its nuclear program on the other.
Robert Joseph stated that what is necessary to stop Iran is “a firm indication that the international community … will take whatever measures are necessary” to convince Iran that it is not worth its while to pursue nuclear weapons. At the same time, he gave assurance that the avenue of diplomacy had not yet been exhausted, saying the referral of Iran to the Security Council was “moving diplomacy to the next level.” If the U.S. hopes a unsc resolution will help, it appears it is wasting its time. With China and Russia—two of Iran’s major trade and political partners—holding veto power on the Security Council, attempting to get any resolutions against Iran passed only buys Tehran more time.
Really, the Security Council’s involvement amounts to merely going through the motions of punishing Iran—and Iran knows it. It has enough weapons—political and otherwise—not to fear such action.
It does not appear the U.S. has the will, the political support either at home or abroad—and perhaps not even the military might—to successfully use force to stop the Iranians in their tracks.
Iran’s confrontational behavior will bring things to a head—though Bible prophecy indicates that it will not occur the way most people think.
IsraelNationalNews.com made an interesting comparison, hinting at Iran’s intention to provoke confrontation. In May 1967, Egypt demanded UN peacekeepers leave the Suez Canal area, signaling its intention to attack Israel—a situation that resulted in the Six Day War. North Korea withdrew from the npt shortly before going public with its nuclear weapons program.
Is Iran preparing for more confrontation?
Perhaps. But whether it likes it or not, that is what it is going to get. Our booklet The King of the South explains the nature of that confrontation and what it will lead to.