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The signs are growing that Iran is secretly preparing to break out in a push for nuclear weapons, Global Security Newswire reports.The country has made significant process recently in three crucial areas: producing the basic fissile material required for nuclear energy; turning that material into a nuclear weapon; and creating a suitable missile delivery system for a nuke.
Iran announced last month that it will increase production of 20%-enriched uranium and will move that production to an underground facility. That’s not necessarily inconsistent with Iran’s stated purpose of using the fuel for ordinary civilian nuclear power, but it would give Iranian scientists the expertise needed for eventually breaking out and making a push for 90% enriched uranium, which is only useful for making a nuclear weapon.
In recent weeks, Iran has also begun testing missiles that could reach Israel or U.S. bases in the region, though it denies that those missiles could handle nuclear weapons.
Yossel Melman, at the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, points to these signs and others (for instance, a strange article on a Revolutionary Guards website talking about “the day after” an Iranian nuclear weapons test), and argues that they indicate Iran is accelerating its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
He also says the West should seriously consider the possibility that an Armageddon-minded clan allied to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might see a nuclear weapon as their best opportunity to bring about the Islamic messiah and rid the world of nonbelievers.
“Ahmadinejad and several of his ministers, as well as senior commanders in the Revolutionary Guards, belong to a small but influential group in the Iranian government that adheres to a mystical belief in the coming of the Mahdi – the Twelfth, or hidden, Imam – who is considered the Shi’ite messiah. One of the conditions for the Mahdi’s coming is that a huge proportion of the world’s population be annihilated in a great war.”
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