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Page added on January 31, 2014

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Iran can now build and deliver nukes

An Iranian worker at the Uranium Conversion Facility at Isfahan, 410 kilometers, south of Tehran. The conversion facility in Isfahan reprocesses uranium ore concentrate, known as yellowcake, into uranium hexaflouride gas. The gas is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment. (photo credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

An Iranian worker at the Uranium Conversion Facility at Isfahan, 410 kilometers, south of Tehran. The conversion facility in Isfahan reprocesses uranium ore concentrate, known as yellowcake, into uranium hexaflouride gas. The gas is then taken to Natanz and fed into the centrifuges for enrichment. (photo credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran now has all the technical infrastructure to produce nuclear weapons should it make the political decision to do, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote in a report to a Senate intelligence committee published Wednesday. However, he added, it could not break out to the bomb without being detected.

In the “US Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment,” delivered to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper reported that Tehran has made significant advances recently in its nuclear program to the point where it could produce and deliver nuclear bombs should it be so inclined.

“Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas — including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles — from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,” Clapper wrote. “These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons. This makes the central issue its political will to do so.”

In the past year alone, the report states, Iran has enhanced its centrifuge designs, increased the number of centrifuges, and amassed a larger quantity of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride. These advancements have placed Iran in a better position to produce weapons-grade uranium.

“Despite this progress, we assess that Iran would not be able to divert safeguarded material and produce enough WGU [weapons grade uranium] for a weapon before such activity would be discovered,” he wrote.

Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper (photo credit: AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

He said the increased supervision and other “transparency” to which Iran has agreed under the new interim deal, reached with the world powers in Geneva in November and finalized last week, could offer earlier warning of a breakout to the bomb. Should Iran cooperate with the interim deal, halt enrichment, and “provide transparency,” then “This transparency would provide earlier warning of a breakout using these facilities.”

Clapper told the Senate committee that the interim deal will have an impact on Iran’s nuclear weapons program’s progress and “gets at the key thing we’re interested in and most concerned about,” namely, Iran’s 20 percent enriched uranium.

Iran had also worked hard to advance its program at the Arak heavy water facility, wrote Clapper. Its ballistic missiles, he noted, of which it has “the largest inventory in the Middle East,” are “inherently capable of delivering WMD.” And its space program gives it the means to develop longer-range missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles.

“We do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons,” Clapper wrote. But he noted that Iran’s overarching “strategic goals” were leading it to pursue the capability to do so.

The national intelligence director reiterated that imposing additional sanctions against Iran would be “counterproductive” and would “jeopardize the [interim] agreement.” He advised that additional sanctions against the Islamic Republic should only be kept “in reserve.”

The report was released a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the interim nuclear agreement only set back the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by six weeks.

“This agreement merely set Iran back six weeks — no more — according to our assessments, in relation to its previous position, so that the test, as to denying Iran the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons, has been and remains the permanent agreement, if such [a deal] can indeed be achieved,” Netanyahu said at a conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

Last Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of mischaracterizing the terms of an interim nuclear deal. “We did not agree to dismantle anything,” Zarif told CNN.

Zarif repeated that “we are not dismantling any centrifuges, we’re not dismantling any equipment, we’re simply not producing, not enriching [uranium] over 5%.”

The six-month deal freezes key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, while allowing limited enrichment to continue, in exchange for some economic sanctions relief. It went into effect on January 20.

The next round of international nuclear negotiations with Iran is expected to be held in New York next month, according to officials involved in the planning.

Israel has threatened to attack Iran should it not back off from its alleged pursuit of a military nuclear capability.

On Tuesday, UN nuclear inspectors arrived in Tehran to visit Iran’s Gachin uranium mine for the first time in several years, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said. The visit was part of the framework of a separate deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency in November.

11 Comments on "Iran can now build and deliver nukes"

  1. Makati1 on Fri, 31st Jan 2014 1:31 pm 

    “The Times of Israel” lol

    Pure Bullshit!

  2. rollin on Fri, 31st Jan 2014 1:59 pm 

    “We do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons,” Clapper wrote.”

    Since the same process is used to produce either power plant isotopes or nuclear weapons grade, the point of how the isotopes are enriched is not valid.

  3. Mr.Big on Fri, 31st Jan 2014 2:06 pm 

    Maybe a limited nuclear war in the middle east would so destructively effect the worlds oil supply it would end the industrial system, and leave a planet (Kinda) Enviromentally stable.
    And kill off a large population of the human race.
    And kill a lot of Muslims.
    And kill a lot of Jews.
    Hmm, 1 stone 4 birds. We can only hope.

  4. DC on Fri, 31st Jan 2014 5:26 pm 

    RoLF! Jewsrael can now build and deliver nukes too! O wait, they already *have* several hundred in fact. Gee, I wonder where they got them from. South Africa by way of the United States ring any bells? Yea, the US is a such a strong believer in the NPT isn’t it….

  5. baptised on Fri, 31st Jan 2014 6:15 pm 

    Is this not the same ugly man and I mean ugly, that went in front of congress and said we do not spy on our allies or the American public about a year ago???

  6. J-Gav on Fri, 31st Jan 2014 8:54 pm 

    Oh! I’m really skeert! The most flagrant public liar in recent history still believes he has the cred to tell us something relevant and receive an audience! The sheer gall of the §a&rsEwh@hole!

  7. GregT on Sat, 1st Feb 2014 1:03 am 

    The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. (George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2003)

    We believe [Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. (Dick Cheney, NBC’s Meet the Press, March 16, 2003)

    I don’t believe anyone that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq had nuclear weapons. (Donald Rumsfeld, Senate appropriations subcommittee on defense hearing, May 14, 2003)

    This is about an imminent threat. (White House spokesman Scott McClellan, press briefing, Feb. 10, 2003)

    I think some in the media have chosen to use the word ‘imminent.’ Those were not words we used. We used ‘grave and gathering’ threat. (White House spokesman Scott McClellan, press briefing, Jan. 31, 2004)

  8. RICHARD RALPH ROEHL on Sat, 1st Feb 2014 2:45 am 

    The Islamic REPUBLIC of Iran has the ability to build an H-bomb?

    Maybe we should scrutinize our alleged allies instead. Just for starters… the Jim Crow apartheid ‘theocrazy’ of Israel has a formidable nuclear arsenal that may contain as many as 300 warheads. Many of the Israeli H-bombs are on long range missiles inside German built submarines. Yeah… and some of them are programmed to evaporate large Amerikan urban cities.

    Ewe-folks in faster poo-food Amerika need to wake up and smell the ‘kosher’.

  9. Hurrah! on Sat, 1st Feb 2014 5:37 am 

    “Iran can build nukes”.

    Good. About time. Glad to see it.

    Now shut the fuck up America. Stop meddling in the Middle East. Stop supporting terrorists. Stop trying to undermine every government. Stop lying to the American people. Stop… well, I’ll stop here, because this would literally take all night.

  10. Arthur on Sat, 1st Feb 2014 9:51 am 

    While I agree with all the skeptical comments above, if countries like Pakistan and North-Korea can build a bomb, we can safely assume that Iran can as well, if it wants.

    It is one thing to (correctly) point at the obvious hypocrisy of Israeli and Washington political circles vis-a-vis Iranian nuclear programs in the light of aspirations of global dominance (NWO), we should not forget that in general, nuclear proliferation is an absolute nightmare, because it lowers the threshold for these doomsday machines to go off at some point. Sooner or later this problems needs to be addressed. And the worst but effective solution is world government after all. The only alternative for world government is that the biggest powers on earth (US, EU, Russia, China) actually unite and adopt a policy of denying smaller countries the right to possess nukes… or else.

  11. jimmy on Sun, 2nd Feb 2014 11:15 am 

    I care not a shit for Israel.

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