Nuclear Momentum Picks Up In Persia

February 13, 2009

Nuclear Momentum Picks Up In Persia


Iran: With every new analysis, the timetable for Tehran building a nuclear weapon gets shorter. The latest has the mullahs armed within the next two to three months. This is not an inspiring development.

Read More: Iran

The Wisconsin Project, a nuclear watchdog group, reported this month that as of December, Iran had accumulated enough U-235, the fissile uranium needed for nuclear weapons, “to fuel one bomb quickly. ‘Quickly’ in this context means two to three months about the time it would take Iran to raise the level of U-235 in its uranium stockpile from 3.8% to over 90%.”

A second nuclear weapon (the real beginning of danger, since the first one is likely to be used in a test) could be ready by June, and a third by November.

The Wisconsin Project is no crackpot group itching to attack Iran. It’s a nonprofit organization dedicated to halting “the spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.” Its goal is “to cut off the supply of material, equipment and technology needed to make these weapons.”

The Wisconsin Project doesn’t seem to be hopeful, either. Its director, Gary Milhollin, wrote in September in the New York Times that “The best time to stop the Iranian nuclear program was from 2002 to 2006, after its illicit nature was discovered but before it gained its present momentum.”

Milhollin blames the Bush administration’s failure to act against Tehran on U.S. involvement in Iraq, saying that the White House was “paralyzed” and able to mount “only a haphazard and absent-minded policy.”

More likely, though, the administration was hindered by concerns that squeamish Americans, politics-first congressmen and fussy Europeans who screech about U.S. hegemony would howl. Understandably, it did not want to add to its media-driven public relations problems.

So an aggressive Tehran keeps spinning centrifuges and stockpiling uranium, untouched and unhindered. Earlier this month it intensified conditions by launching (it says) a satellite into orbit.

The hours that the civilized world has to decide what, if anything, it’s going to do about Iran’s atomic ambitions are growing short. An Iranian bomb is on the way. Better to act sooner than later, when the threat of deadly retaliation is greater.


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