Iran has few technical issues that prevent it from launching nuclear weapons
Iran’s ability to make missiles loaded with nuclear warheads now rests primarily on the “political will” of its leaders, rather than any technical constraints, according to an annual U.S. intelligence assessment presented on Capitol Hill Wednesday.So do you feel secure knowing that the only thing between Iran and a nuclear attack is the will of a bunch of Islamic religious bigots who run that country? I feel like opponents of taking strong action against the Iran regime early on have put us in a worse circumstance where decisions become more not less difficult.
“Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas — including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles — from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in written testimony submitted as he appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee. “These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons. This makes the central issue its political will to do so.”
On that point, the U.S. Worldwide Threat Assessment suggests a lack of consensus at high levels of the Iranian government and notes that the interim agreement Iran reached to halt and roll back aspects of the program appears to be the product of uncertainty about whether the effort is worth the severe economic price the country has paid in economic sanctions, set to be eased somewhat under the six-month deal.
“Iran’s overarching strategic goals of enhancing its security, prestige, and regional influence have led it to pursue capabilities to meet its civilian goals and give it the ability to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons, if it chooses to do so,” the assessment says. “We judge that Iran is trying to balance conflicting objectives. It wants to improve its nuclear and missile capabilities while avoiding severe repercussions — such as a military strike or regime-threatening sanctions. We do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”
The U.S. intelligence report also says the Iranian nuclear program made further progress in the 12 months before the interim deal kicked in last week.