New Evidence Shows That Iran Was Closer to Building a Nuclear Bomb Than Previously Thought

Oct. 25 2018

In April, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israeli operatives had spirited a vast, secret archive relating to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program out of the country and brought it to Jerusalem. Having studied the documents that have been made public, David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, Olli Heinonen, and Frank Pabian conclude that Tehran has been carrying out research necessary for the development of a nuclear bomb at a military facility in Parchin, and that this research was more advanced than experts had believed. If so, the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal and the current regimen of inspections are not preventing the Islamic Republic from continuing on its path to the bomb:

Iran’s stark aim, in violation of its commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and contrary to its signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, contradicts the finding by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in December 2015 that Iran’s nuclear-weapons activities had not gone beyond feasibility and simple scientific studies. . . .

The archive provides the public its first look inside the Parchin nuclear weapons-development facility and at the type of nuclear weapons-related activities that took place at the site, [and it includes] confirmation that Iran was testing . . . a specialized, difficult-to-develop, neutron initiator to start the chain reaction in a nuclear explosion. The new information about Parchin . . . shows that Iran conducted far more high-explosive tests at the site than previously understood. It may have maintained some of the equipment for later use, and did in fact resume (elsewhere) some of those activities related to nuclear-weapons development under a new organizational structure. . . .

More broadly, at issue remains [the question of] whether Iran is simply preserving, curating, and improving its nuclear-weapons capabilities, awaiting a decision to reconstitute a full-blown nuclear-weapons program at a later date, if such a political decision is made. Its failure to destroy all of these documents, and purportedly, the equipment used in these activities, does not align with its commitment under the nuclear deal “that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop, or acquire nuclear weapons.”

Read more at Institute for Science and International Security

More about: Iranian nuclear program, Mossad, Nuclear proliferation, Politics & Current Affairs

The U.S. Is Trying to Seduce Israel into Accepting a Bad Deal with Iran. Israel Should Say No

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its quarterly report on the Iranian nuclear program. According to an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, the Islamic Republic can now produce enough weapons-grade uranium to manufacture “five nuclear weapons in one month, seven in two months, and a total of eight in three months.” The IAEA also has reason to believe that Tehran has further nuclear capabilities that it has successfully hidden from inspectors. David M. Weinberg is concerned about Washington’s response:

Believe it or not, the Biden administration apparently is once again offering the mullahs of Tehran a sweetheart deal: the release of $10 billion or more in frozen Iranian assets and clemency for Iran’s near-breakout nuclear advances of recent years, in exchange for Iranian release of American hostages and warmed-over pious Iranian pledges to freeze the Shiite atomic-bomb program.

This month, intelligence photos showed Iran again digging tunnels at its Natanz nuclear site—supposedly deep enough to withstand an American or Israeli military strike. This tells us that Iran has something to hide, a clear sign that it has not given up on its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, Antony Blinken today completes a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly pressing the kingdom to enter the Abraham Accords. This is no coincidence, for reasons Weinberg explains:

Washington expects Israeli acquiescence in the emerging U.S. surrender to Iran in exchange for a series of other things important to Israel. These include U.S. backing for Israel against escalated Palestinian assaults expected this fall in UN forums, toning down U.S. criticism regarding settlement and security matters (at a time when the IDF is going to have to intensify its anti-terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria), an easing of U.S. pressures on Israel in connection with domestic matters (like judicial reform), a warm Washington visit for Prime Minister Netanyahu (which is not just a political concession but is rather critical to Israel’s overall deterrent posture), and most of all, significant American moves towards reconciliation with Saudi Arabia (which is critical to driving a breakthrough in Israeli-Saudi ties).

[But] even an expensive package of U.S. “concessions” to Saudi Arabia will not truly compensate for U.S. capitulation to Iran (something we know from experience will only embolden the hegemonic ambitions of the mullahs). And this capitulation will make it more difficult for the Saudis to embrace Israel publicly.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Antony Blinken, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship