Iran is about to finish installing centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear enrichment plant buried deep inside a mountain, an achievement which could allow increased production of 20 percent enriched uranium.
The media is touting this development as another mad dash by the Iranian mullahs to get closer to nuclear weapons. But these additional installations have been known about and expected for more than a year and the Fordow facility is being constantly inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The IAEA, US intelligence, and Israeli intelligence are in consensus that, while aspects of Iran’s nuclear program have progressed, the leadership has not yet made the decision to weaponize any of their nuclear material.
In fact, “senior Obama administration officials,” reported the Wall Street Journal recently, “say the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate” which found Iran had dismantled its weapons program in 2003 and had not restarted it, “remains accurate.”
Indeed, experts from across the spectrum have agreed with the military and intelligence consensus that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and presents no imminent threat. The White House also reiterated earlier this month that it uses covert means to spy on Iran’s nuclear program and that the US “would know if and when Iran made” the decision to start a weapons program.
An expanded program has helped put Iran within a realm of technical capability to develop a weapon quicker for deterrent purposes if it ever decides to do so – like, in the event of a unilateral US or Israeli attack. Both Washington and Tel Aviv have officially admitted this decision has not yet been made, making an attack completely unjustified.
The debate about a nuclear threat from Iran is mostly fabricated. Western leaders don’t much care about weapons proliferation per se: the real concern, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says, is allowing Iran to enter a “zone of immunity” wherein it can deter attack or invasion. The US and Israel, according to this thinking, must be able to bomb Iran without concern for retaliation.
Obama has refused to launch a military strike on Iran’s non-existent weapons program, but he has given in to Israeli pressure to impose economic warfare on Iran. After extremely severe economic sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking sectors, Iranian civilians are being subjected to high unemployment, rampant inflation and food shortages, and even dramatically less access to vital pharmaceuticals and medical treatment. Some estimate the sanctions could end up killing tens of thousands of Iranians.
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