The script has already been written. The Iranian government is closely following a plotline in its quest to become the next nuclear weapons-armed state. And like most cliché thriller movies, the twists are predictable and yet a gullible bunch continues to fall for it.
The first part of the script calls for developing the building blocks for a nuclear weapon while claiming such work is for a domestic nuclear energy program, completely in line with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Most of Iran’s work here can be done legally, although in an effort to speed up the process, the regime has been working on the “trigger” for nuclear explosions and long-range ballistic missiles, and constructing covert enrichment facilities, like the one in Qom that can house only 3,000 centrifuges — far from the 50,000 needed for energy but good enough for building the fuel for a bomb.
Heck, they’re even permitted to build implosion devices minus the fissile core and are studying the use of EMP strikes that can disable the American power grid instantly with few fingerprints being left behind. Working in this way allows for minimal incriminating traces to be found, giving countries like Russia and China maximum room to delay and demand higher levels of proof before supporting any meaningful reprisal.
The words of Iranian officials expose this thinly concealed strategy. In his book Countdown to Crisis, Ken Timmerman quotes Homayoun Vahdati, a scientific advisor to then-President Rafsanjani, as saying on January 27, 1992, “We should like to acquire the technical know-how and the industrial facilities required to manufacture nuclear weapons, just in case we need them. This does not mean that we currently want to build them or that we have changed our defense strategy to include a nuclear program.”