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‘Iran can’t covertly produce atomic bomb’ – US intelligence chief

RT | March 12, 2013

Iran cannot produce enough highly-enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon without being found out by the international community, the US National Intelligence Director told Congress. He also countered claims Tehran had decided to build an atomic bomb.

Developments in Iran’s nuclear capabilities intended to “enhance its security, prestige, and regional influence” would ultimately “give the Islamic Republic the ability to develop a nuclear weapon,” US National Intelligence Director James Clapper told a Senate panel during an annual report on global threats on Tuesday.

Despite these advances, “we assess Iran could not divert safeguarded material and produce a weapon-worth of WGU (weapons-grade uranium) before this activity is discovered,” he continued.

Clapper further said “we do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

His assessment reiterated last year’s analysis from intelligence agencies stating “Iran’s nuclear decision-making is guided by a cost-benefit approach” which had subsequently precluded efforts to build a bomb.

“…We have not changed our assessment that Iran prefers to avoid direct confrontation with the United States because regime preservation is its top priority,” he continued.

Clapper’s statements come on the same day an Iranian news agency reported Tehran plans on telling the UN it has no plan of building an atomic bomb.

“Iran plans to declare in the UN that it will never go after nuclear bombs,” the semi-official Mehr news agency quotes Vice President Mohammed Reza Rahimi as saying.

Rahimi provided no further details on when such an announcement might be made.

The reports foreshadow President Barack Obama’s upcoming trip to Israel, where top officials have warned that the world has until the summer to stop Iran from acquiring the bomb.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to pre-emptively strike Iran if it crosses the red line where Israel believes Iran would be able to build a nuclear weapon.

“It’s still not crossed the red line I drew with the United Nations last September,” Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee earlier this month.

“But Iran is getting closer to that red line, and it is putting itself in a position to cross that line very quickly once it decides to do so.”

Netanyahu reiterated previous warnings that on-going efforts must be “coupled with a clear and credible military threat if diplomacy and sanctions fail.”

On Tuesday Israeli President Shimon Peres told the European Parliament that the Iranian regime was “the greatest danger to peace in the world.”

“Nobody threatens Iran,” the Jewish Chronicle cites him as saying. “Iran threatens others.”

Israel has long pushed the White House to use military force to halt Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program, demands which have mostly been rejected by the Obama administration.

The White House, while refusing to take the military option off of the table, has thus far relied on diplomacy and increasingly harsh sanctions to force Iran to fully comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

On Tuesday President Obama extended the “national emergency with respect to Iran” sanctions package against the Islamic Republic for an additional year.

In February, the United States introduced sanctions which “effectively bar Iran from repatriating earnings from its oil exports, depriving Tehran of much needed hard currency,” the IEA said in its monthly report on the world oil market.

The new sanctions came six months after the US said it would deny access to the US financial system to countries buying Iranian oil.

Iran has long maintained that its uranium enrichment program is solely for peaceful purposes.

March 13, 2013 - Posted by | Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , ,

8 Comments

  1. Israel (allegedly), India, Pakistan, North Korea have managed to covertly produce nuclear weapons… Why couldn’t Iran manage it if that’s what they wanted?!…

    Like

    Comment by ScubaMan | March 13, 2013

    • Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea were not under IAEA supervision at the time of their development of nukes.

      Like

      Comment by aletho | March 13, 2013

      • North Korea WAS under IAEA supervision until it (correctly) believed that it could “breakout”… What’s to prevent Iran from doing the exact same thing?!…

        Also, if you think that theoretical design as well as modeling and component testing can’t be carried out while under IAEA supervision then you’re wrong…

        Basically your claim is that Iran won’t be able to divert lowly enriched uranium towards military enrichment and, that Iran won’t be able to use its supervised enrichment facilities to enrich uranium to military levels…

        The security industry is full of examples where “100% safe” systems were found to be lacking… In addition, uranium isn’t the only route to a nuclear weapon… Plutonium is an alternative… And, there’s the Iran Arak heavy water plant (where plutonium could be generated) which isn’t (currently) under IAEA supervision (it’s not supposed to be operational yet) but recent satellite images show that it is operational… At least to a certain degree…

        Iran is a large country… Iranians are smart people… I, for one, believe that if they set their mind to it they could circumvent the IAEA safeguards…

        Like

        Comment by ScubaMan | March 14, 2013

        • North Korea WAS under IAEA supervision until it (correctly) believed that it could “breakout”

          Wrong.

          North Korea quit the inspections when Bush reneged on the US’ part of the agreement.

          Like

          Comment by aletho | March 14, 2013

          • Wrong?!… The historic record proves you wrong!… Regardless of the excuse given by North Korea, the fact remains that they had, by that time, achieved breakout capability…

            The proof for that lies in the fact that following their withdrawal from the NPT they were able to develop nuclear weapons…

            Like

            Comment by ScubaMan | March 14, 2013

            • Years later, after numerous opportunities for the US to rein in its belligerence, North Korea developed a deterrent.

              Duhhh.

              Like

              Comment by aletho | March 14, 2013

              • Nevertheless, my point has been proven…

                BTW, we don’t know how long it took the North Koreans to make their nuclear weapons… We only know when they did their first test…

                As it was only to be expected that North Korea would be hit by sanctions following such a test it’s only to be expected that they would delay such a test until such time where they had build up an arsenal of such weapons and, after they prepared as much as possible for possible sanctions…

                The North Koreans are not stupid you know!…

                Like

                Comment by ScubaMan | March 15, 2013

                • Stop trying to change history. Blatant lies will not fly here. North Korea was not hit by sanctions following such a test. Failure to remove sanctions and normalize relations is what resulted in North Korea’s withdrawal from inspections.

                  Your endless stream of lies is tiresome. Who do you suppose is stupid enough to buy your crap? You are an insult to humanity.

                  Like

                  Comment by aletho | March 15, 2013


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