Alan Simons
Author | Writer | Social & Allyship Advocate

Iran and Nuclear Weapons Production

“It only takes one nuclear weapon to bring devastation”

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) serves as nonpartisan shared staff to congressional committees and Members of [USA] Congress. They state, “It operates solely at the behest of and under the direction of Congress.”

This past July 2022, in an updated report authored by Paul Kerr, titled Iran and Nuclear Weapons Production, CRS detailed in their opening statement:

“Iran’s nuclear program has generated widespread concern that Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons. According to U.S. intelligence assessments, Tehran has the capacity to produce nuclear weapons at some point, but has halted its nuclear weapons program and has not mastered all of the necessary technologies for building such weapons.”

Since 2006, I have been reporting on Iran’s nuclear ambitions as well as its mission to take a controlling interest in numerous UN programs.

Contempt for Washington

Indeed, curiosity got the better of me when it was reported in 2006 the Iranian Research and Technology Minister, Mohammad M. Zahedi, during a visit to Indonesia, said his country was ready to cooperate with other Islamic countries in development of advanced technology, including nuclear technology. “We are ready to cooperate with all Islamic countries on advanced technology, including nuclear because knowledge about nuclear power is also advanced technology,” Zahedi said at Indonesia’s Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).

Two years later, on June 20, 2008, I wrote that Tehran had offered to share its nuclear experience with Syria. The offer came from Iran’s ambassador to Syria, Sayyed Ahmed Moussavi. He cited July 2008 as the date for their officials to meet. DEBKAfile’s military sources reported:

“Iran’s willingness to defy its obligations under the non-proliferation treaty by offering a nuclear capability to Syria across the border from Israel brings Tehran’s threat to wipe Israel off the map much closer to home. It is a mark of contempt for Washington and the U.S.-led Western sanctions.”

The language of genocide

Of course, Iran’s thirst for seeking to put itself front and centre on the world stage didn’t stop there. On Sunday, November 30, 2008, Iran continued on its quest to share its nuclear development, by proposing Persian Gulf states form a consortium for developing nuclear power plants in the region.

“The proposal was made by the head of the Iran Atomic Energy Organization Reza Aqazadeh in his address to the opening session of the first International Seminar on Nuclear Power Plants, Environment and Sustainable Development,” reported the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

“Iran is ready to provide very soon a comprehensive plan for the proposal if it were approved in generalities by the Persian Gulf littoral states,” Aqazadeh stressed.

Fast forward to 2022. Currently, Aqazadeh is a member of Iran’s Expediency Council which plays an advisory role for the Supreme Leader.

On September 27, 2009, Heshmatollah Falahatpishe, member of Majlis the national security and foreign policy commission, said: “that construction of a new uranium enrichment plant indicated that Iran’s nuclear program is in progress on schedule, in spite of political pressures.”

He added, Iran can build a plant for every field of its nuclear program, because, “we have gained access to the nuclear technology and this issue is not reversible, a fact that has already been acknowledged by IAEA analysts.” The MP noted unlike Libya and Iraq, who bought nuclear technology in the markets, Iran, on its own ability, has turned threats into an opportunity. (IRNA).

And what was America’s response to all of this? Here’s what Melanie Phillips, British journalist, author, and public commentator, had to say at the time writing in the Spectator (UK):

“The Iranians are amongst the most shrewd and sophisticated strategists around. They can see that the election of Obama is a signal of American weakness. The question no one can currently answer, however, is whether President Obama will now repudiate his history and turn through sheer force of circumstances into a centrist and war leader – which would be remarkable but by no means unprecedented — or will remain true to his radical past. Upon the answer to that question, the ability of the free world to defend itself against the onslaught now depends.”

Phillips added:

“All the evidence to date suggests he [Obama] will throw Israel’s security under the bus while appeasing the enemies of the free world.”

Kenneth R. Timmerman, political writer, and conservative activist is known for his work in exposing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, who pointed out in The Strategic Studies Institute’s 2005 book Getting Ready for a Nuclear-Ready Iran:

“Former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani stated that Iran believed it would come out the winner. “In a nuclear duel in the region, Israel may kill 100 million Muslims,” Rafsanjani said. “Muslims can sustain such casualties, knowing that, in exchange, there would be no Israel on the map.”

Rafsanjani expanded on this doomsday calculus in an oft-cited Friday prayer sermon in Tehran on December 14, 2001, noting “the use of a [single] nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground,” whereas an Israeli strike on Iran “will only damage the world of Islam.” Rafsanjani said that Israel would be “removed from the region and the world of Islam [as] extraneous matter”, and that “those who have gathered together in Israel would one day be dispersed again.” This is not the language of mutually assured destruction or deterrence. This is the language of genocide.”

Timmerman added:

“The clarity of Iran’s threats should not be dismissed as mere exaggeration or wishful thinking. A nuclear-ready Iran is likely to goad Israel into launching a pre-emptive attack, after it has dispersed its nuclear material to ensure that it survives the strike. If the regime feels threatened-from domestic dissent, or foreign attack-the risk of nuclear miscalculation is enormous.

“Only one Iranian nuclear-tipped missile needs to penetrate Israel’s anti-missile defenses to devastate Israel’s highly concentrated population. Even a cowed Israeli leadership, deterred from pre-emptively attacking Iranian nuclear sites, can be expected to unleash its nuclear arsenal, in a tragic re-enactment of the Jewish defenders at Masada 2,000 years ago, who preferred suicide to surrendering to the Roman legion.”

“It only takes one nuclear weapon to bring devastation”

What is so disconcerting in reading CRS’ updated 2022 Iran and Nuclear Weapons Production report is contained in its author’s lucid and finely-woven remarks:

-Tehran is also conducting JCPOA prohibited research and development, illicit uranium metal production, and centrifuge manufacturing and installation.

-Iran has enough fissile material that, if further enriched, would be sufficient for several nuclear weapons, according to U.S. officials.

-According to an April 2021 State Department report, “Iran’s expansion of uranium enrichment activities … allow [sic] Iran to enrich more uranium more quickly and to higher levels.” The U.S. government estimates that Iran would currently need as little as one week to produce enough weapons-grade HEU for one nuclear weapon, according to a State Department official in March 2022.

There’s a well-known Persian proverb: “Risk – If one has to jump a stream and knows how wide it is, he will not jump. If he doesn’t know how wide it is, he’ll jump, and six times out of ten he’ll make it.” To which I’ll respond by adding the following quote from Francis Bacon, the English philosopher and statesman: “Truth is a good dog; but always beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out.”♦

Note: This article has been updated in part from an earlier version.

About the Author
Simons is an author, writer and social & allyship advocate. He publishes an online international news service, now in its 15th year, dealing with issues relating to intolerance, hate, antisemitism, Islamophobia, conflict, and terrorism, as well as an online community news site. As a diplomat, he served as the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Rwanda to Canada, post-genocide era. He has lectured and designed courses in the areas of therapeutic management, religion in politics, and communications. He recently published his sixth book.