On the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that his country is now a nuclear power.
On Tuesday Iran had said that it would enrich uranium to 20 percent, sufficient for medical purposes. Today the mask came off. Ahmadinejad said: “”Why do they think that 20 percent is such a big deal? Right now in Natanz we have the capability to enrich at over 20 percent and at over 80 percent, but because we don’t need it, we won’t do it.”
Eighty percent enrichment is close to the enrichment level requirement for a nuclear bomb. Iran has also been diligently working on the warhead side of the problem. Yevgeny Satanovsky, director of the Middle East Institute in Moscow, believes that Iran has crossed the nuclear threshold:. “According to indirect data, now Iran gradually completes up to three copies of warheads on missiles. The last technical issues are solved. . . . in reality, Iran is quite capable of producing nuclear weapons right now.”
It appears to be the case that Iran has only a small number of centrifuges with the necessary enrichment capacity. No doubt some will therefore call for patience and further engagement with Iran–why panic if the mullocracy won’t have nuclear weapons this week? Of course, this is just the sort of “thinking” over the past two decades which has led us to the present crisis.
God bless and give strength to the Iranian protesters. One can only hope that they will speedily bring down the regime. Will the Obama administration and the rest of the liberal democracies have the sense to unequivocally throw their support to the Green Revolution? Impose unilateral sanctions now? Step up sabotage efforts?
Sometimes there are behind-the-scenes diplomatic and covert activities of which the public is ignorant until years after they occur. We must hope that such is the case here, and that Obama and his colleagues are not as feckless as they seem.