News & Politics

Report: Iran Was 'Closer to Nuclear Weapons than We Thought'

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says President Trump's speech announcing U.S. withdrawal from a nuclear deal with Iran was "silly and superficial." during a meeting with a group of Iranian students and teachers a day after the president announced the U.S. is pulling out of the nuclear deal. (Photo by SalamPix/Abaca/Sipa USA, Sipa via AP Images)

A document published by the Institute for Science and International Security says Iran was much closer to constructing a working nuclear weapon than was previously realized.

The paper, authored by Institute director David Albright and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) former deputy director General Olli Heinonen, concluded that “the information highlights dual-use, controlled equipment used at the site, such as a flash x-ray system utilizing a Marx generator and a variety of neutron measurement equipment, with electronics, designed to monitor high speed, explosively driven tests of a neutron source commonly used in a nuclear weapon.”

“The site” is Parchin military base, where the vital neutron measurement tests were being conducted. These tests were necessary to determine if Iran had a workable bomb or not. Too many neutrons bombarding the nuclear mass would cause a fizzle. Too few, a dud.

If Iran was at this stage of nuclear bomb development, the game was over.

Express:

 The report, written by watchdog director David Albright, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) former Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen and other top experts, concluded the findings “shows that the Parchin site did house high explosive chambers capable for use in nuclear weapons research and development.”

The news follows a chilling warning by Iranian General Hossein Salami, second-in-command of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards force, who vowed to destroy Israel in a furious attack that raised fears of a major outbreak of conflict in the volatile Middle East.

Referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said: “I tell the Prime Minister of the Zionist regime that he should practice swimming in the Mediterranean.

“Because soon there will be no way to escape but the sea.”

The Iranian regime consistently refers to the Israeli Government as “the Zionist regime” as a way of denying its legitimacy.

The paper claims that in addition to satellite imagery being used to uncover this information, documents from a daring Mossad raid on a warehouse in Tehran last January suggest that Iran was violating the nuclear agreement.

The fact that the new information comes from Parchin military base is significant. Parchin was not included in the inspection regime negotiated by the Obama administration. Iran insisted nothing was going on there, but would not allow IAEA inspectors into the facility. Instead, Iran gave the IAEA soil samples and other evidence — gathered by their own scientists — from Parchin, which appeared to satisfy the naive Obama and his administration.

The information on the neutron tests suggests Iran already has all the elements necessary to construct a bomb. All that’s lacking is the highly enriched uranium for the device, something Iran could manufacture in a matter of weeks.

It looks as though Netanyahu was right.