Iran regime close to getting nuclear bomb, but what’s the holdup?
JERUSALEM — Iran is dangerously close to weapons-grade enrichment. Uranium for a nuclear bombBut the government has not yet crossed the threshold of declaring that it has developed nuclear weapons.
Fox News Digital has reached out to experts on Iran’s more than two-decade effort to join the small group of countries that possess nuclear weapons to explain how Tehran has a nuclear limit. What’s stopping you from crossing over?
“If there is any reason to believe that there are many retardants that have halted their weapons production, they would be related to targeted attacks by the US and Israel, which are clearly about deterring the mullahs. Very concerned.” said Lisa Daftari, an Iran expert and Foreign Desk editor-in-chief.
“Israel has allegedly conducted at least two dozen targeted operations against the Iranian government over the last 15 or so years, including drone strikes, cyberattacks, if you count Stuxnet and Iran’s nukes,” the office added. Recall the killing of key players in the program”.
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“We cannot underestimate the power of international pressure on the Iranian government,” Daftari told Fox News Digital.
“This pressure has been relieved under this current administration, which, while withdrawing from the nuclear deal, still hopes to normalize some sort of deal with Tehran. With sanctions in place and economic and political isolation, we “Looking at a weak government and an emboldened Iranian people brave enough to take to the streets.”
Kamal Kharazi, a senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, boasted last year that “Iran is on the nuclear threshold, and it’s no secret,” a 2022 report in the state-controlled Tehran Times said. According to. .
Just that year, the International Atomic Energy Agency revealed that Iran’s government had enriched uranium to 84 percent purity, an enrichment of 6 percent pure uranium. Nuclear requires 90% enriched uranium. weapon
Iran’s government is testing the resolve of the United States and other world powers, which have repeatedly said they will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Israel views Tehran’s nuclear weapons program as an existential threat because Tehran has repeatedly announced that it is trying to dismantle it.
“It is an open question whether Khamenei wants to die as the father of the atomic bomb for the Shiites or as the man who put the Islamic Republic on the nuclear path without provoking or provoking war,” Behnam bin Talbloo said. , senior fellow and Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital.
“For now, however, Khamenei’s obsession with diplomatic and security policy success abroad and ascendancy at all costs at home may be enough to push him over the edge as he ages,” Taleblu said. who recently wrote a comprehensive review. Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities and intentions.
Fox News Digital reported this week that Iran is digging deep into tunnels near the top of the Zagros Mountains in central Iran to protect nuclear facilities from conventional weapons attacks.
In addition to the technical obstacles to building advanced nuclear weapons, Iran’s regime has faced resistance from Israel and the United States over the years, including Demolition of the Stuxnet computer worm of the government’s nuclear fuel production system.
“I think Iran’s leadership has calculated the cost to date of doing this would far outweigh the benefits at this point — essentially a catastrophic attack that targets its entire nuclear infrastructure, Jason Brodsky, policy director of the US-based United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), told Fox News Digital.
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“But my concern is that the US and European non-response to Iran’s nuclear escalation over the past two years has led to a change in the risk calculus — for example, 60% enrichment and uranium metal production — leading Tehran to encouraged to continue testing international red lines.”
Brodsky added that “if this perception is not changed, Iran could potentially enrich uranium to 90 percent weapons-grade levels. Tehran’s risk aversion to date demonstrates this.” that it can be stopped. as he advances his nuclear program.”
Earlier this month US national security adviser Jack Sullivan In an address to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Biden administration “has made it clear to Iran that it can never be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. As President Biden has repeatedly affirmed, They will take the steps that are necessary. Stick to that statement, including recognizing Israel’s freedom of action.”
“We have restored unity of purpose between the United States and Europe and the whole world against Iranian provocations, nuclear activities,” he said, adding that the United States is pressuring Iran through sanctions.
“Iran has not crossed the threshold of nuclear weapons because the Supreme Leader has not decided to weaponize the program,” said Joel Rubin, a former deputy assistant secretary of state who served in Iran. The Obama administrationtold Fox News Digital.
“This position has been confirmed by numerous assessments of the US intelligence community over the past several years.” He added, “Although only the Supreme Leader can truly say why he took this stance, it is known that the continued diplomatic isolation from the international community that the Iranian regime has faced following the expansion of its nuclear program.” causing distress to.”
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Rubin said it was clear that Tehran “is still open to pursuing a diplomatic path because it knows that if it goes into weapons-grade nuclear weapons, which it is capable of doing, it will It will be further isolated internationally – even by its allies. Is.”
Rubin concluded that “what has been clear in recent years is that a strong, verifiable diplomatic agreement with Iran on its nuclear program is the best way to ensure that it never acquires a nuclear weapon.” Do it.
According to Israeli media, low-intensity military deterrence against Iran’s regime has been in place for several years.
Israel’s defense chief said that we have the capability to target Iran. warned this week.
The US military and Israel Defense Forces launched a joint exercise called Juniper Falcon in February. “The exercise tested US-Israeli joint readiness and strengthened mutual cooperation between the two armies,” the IDF website said on its website after the exercise.
Yet there are growing concerns that the Biden administration is not putting enough pressure on Iran’s government to change its behavior. More than 100 former world leaders endorsed Biden this week. Get tough on Iran..
Earlier this week, Israeli Defense Minister Yves Gallant reportedly said during a visit to Hatzor Air Force Base that Israel was preparing for a “complex, difficult and more important objective.”
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Military deterrence has been the single biggest factor in slowing Iran’s illegal nuclear program. The American sword has influenced a change in the behavior of the Islamic Republic.
In 2007, an unannounced US national intelligence estimate determined with “high confidence” that Iran’s government had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Iranian experts The Islamic Republic is believed to have temporarily pulled the plug on its illegal nuclear program due to the US invasion of Iraq and fears that the US will launch a military intervention in Iran.
The sheer survival of Iran’s regime forced then-supreme leader Khomeini to agree to a cease-fire with Iraq in 1988 after eight years of war. At the time he compared the ceasefire to drinking from a “cup of poison”.
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American pressure forced Khomeini’s release. American hostages in 1981. All of these examples during the diplomatic crisis show that Iran’s government is extremely vulnerable to military pressure and other methods that threaten its legitimacy and existence.
“Iran’s government is doing a lot of calculating,” Daftari said. are anticipating the outcome of a heated military confrontation with United States.”