Iran Is Getting Closer To Building The Bomb

Iran Missile

Photo: Forces Military

The dialogue surrounding Iran’s nuclear program is sometimes tough to decipher.Israel says Iran is stalling international talks, while Tehran hastily proceeds to assemble a nuclear weapon.

Israeli seems to insist on military intervention to halt or delay the program.

Iran, for its part, scoffs at the allegations saying it only wants fuel for its reactors, but refuses to accept fuel from outside countries.

The US says Iran shut down its nuclear weapons facilities in 2003, and is currently sidestepping Israeli requests for military intervention.

Adding to the fiery back-and-forth, George Jahn at the Associated Press reports new intelligence from the UN atomic agency says Iran is indeed moving closer to building a nuclear weapon. 

From the AP:

They say the intelligence shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran sometime within the past three years. The diplomats say the information comes from Israel, the United States and at least two other Western countries and concludes that the work was done sometime within the past three years.

The time-frame is significant because if the International Atomic Energy Agency decides that the intelligence is credible, it would strengthen its concerns that Iran has continued weapons work into the recent past—and may be continuing to do so. Because computer modelling work is normally accompanied by physical tests of the components that go into a nuclear weapons, it would also buttress IAEA fears outlined in detail in November that Tehran is advancing its weapons research on multiple fronts.

No doubt this news will add to Israeli consternation over Obama’s refusal to draw a “red line” on Iran and declare military action when Tehran goes past a certain point in its nuclear development.

While it is theoretically possible for Israel to set back Iran’s program by as much as two years, it is far from a given that a solo strike would be successful.

We reported last week on a study by think tank CSIS that outlines a few possible outcomes of a US strike on Iran here.

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