The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced at the end of May that Tehran would already have enough enriched uranium to build its first nuclear bomb. In the midst of its negotiations with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany (P5+1) Tehran accelerated its military nuclear program by improving its uranium enrichment from 5% to 20% and 60%. It would already produce uranium metal and continues to add new advanced centrifuges. Tehran also announced that it would not allow the IAEA to access the security cameras at nuclear facilities and has not provided “technically credible explanations” for uranium particles found by the agency at three undeclared nuclear sites.
“Iran has enough enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6) in the form of near 20 and 60 percent enriched uranium to produce enough weapon-grade uranium (WGU), taken here as 25 kilograms (kg), for a single nuclear weapon in as little as three weeks. It could do so without using any of its stock of uranium enriched up to 5 percent as feedstock. The growth of Iran’s stocks of near 20 and 60 percent enriched uranium has dangerously reduced breakout timelines.”
And the foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, France and Germany acknowledged that Tehran lacks credible civilian needs to produce uranium metal, an indispensable material for building nuclear weapons. A nuclear-armed Iran would be especially dangerous because Tehran has already installed weapons factories, including technologically advanced precision-guided ballistic missiles, in conflict zones. The UN Security Council’s panel of experts on Yemen revealed that the Houthi rebels have received “significant volumes of weapons and components” from Tehran
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The State Department designated Iran a “state sponsor of terrorism” years ago. Assadollah Assadi — an Iranian diplomat on trial for plotting a failed terrorist bombing in an attack on a “Free Iran” demonstration in Paris — was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison in France. In Kuwait, several cells of Iranian spies who had infiltrated the emirate with the help of diplomatic personnel of the Iranian embassy have been dismantled.
Tehran frequently threatens, since 1979 until today, to wipe its enemies off the map starting with Israel. An example like any other would be the statements of the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps -CGRI- General Hossein Salami in 2019, on Channel 2 of Iranian state television, insisting that Iran’s strategy and purpose was to “wipe Israel off the map.” But what is important in all this is to understand that the fanatics in power in Tehran are serious, because Iran has been reigned since 1979 by a totalitarian revolutionary regime dedicated to exporting its revolution to the world. The Iranian Constitution is explicit about that:
“provides the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the revolution at home and abroad.” for which “The Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are to be organized in conformity with this goal, and they will be responsible (…) but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God’s law throughout the world.”
Ayatollah Khomeini tirelessly asserted that the Islamic revolutionaries in power in Tehran would export their revolution to the world in an armed struggle that could only cease when the cry of “there is no god but Allah” resounded in every corner of the planet; and his successor Ayatollah Khamenei has clearly stated that Iran could very well end up in ashes fighting for Islam to rule the world, because:
“We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”
With that kind of fanaticism, appeasement has always been and will always be suicidal. A nuclear weapon in the hands of a power fanatically irrational to the point of being willing to “go up in smoke” is an unacceptable global risk.
Guillermo Rodríguez is a professor of Political Economy in the extension area of the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences at Universidad Monteávila, in Caracas. A researcher at the Juan de Mariana Center and author of several books // Guillermo es profesor de Economía Política en el área de extensión de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas de la Universidad Monteávila, en Caracas, investigador en el Centro Juan de Mariana y autor de varios libros