As the western powers anxiously awaited an Iranian announcement that was sure to ‘punch’ and ‘stun’ the world, we asked Does Iran Have a Nuclear Weapon?
Speculation on what Iran would announce was broad, with contributors on this web site suggesting a variety of possible scenarios, including:
- Iran finally enriched and built an operable nuclear weapon
- Iran built a missile with longer range and better targeting capabilities, but no nuke
- Iran had a dirty bomb ready to be deployed in the Strait of Hormuz
- Iran would only sell oil to the west for gold or other commodities
- Iran would announce the grand opening of a Hooters in Tehran
For a day or so, we also speculated that perhaps the Iranian upper-cut was their announced plans to shut down Google’s email.
It turns out that we were close on the nuclear issue. Iranian President Ahmadinejad announced that their nuclear facilities are now capable of enriching uranium for the production of energy.Â According to AhmadinejadÂ they also have the capability, if they so choose, to manufacture a nuclear weapon:
“When we say that we don’t build nuclear bombs, it means that we won’t do that because we don’t believe in having it,” he said. “The Iranian nation is brave enough that if one day we wanted to build nuclear bombs we would announce it publicly without being afraid of you.“
“Right now in Natanz (enrichment complex) we have the capability to enrich to more than 20 percent and (also) to more than 80 percent, but because we don’t need to, we won’t do so.“
Ahmadinejad also said Iran had produced its first batch of 20 percent-enriched atomic fuel, two days after it announced the start of the project.
Iran denies Western accusations that its nuclear energy program has military goals, saying it only seeks to generate electricity so that it can export more of its oil and gas.
We can be confident that if the Iranians did have the cahonas to manufacture a nuclear weapon, the last thing they would do is tell western powers about it. This would, in the eyes of Israel and perhaps even the United States, be a pretext for launching a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Of course, what President Ahmadinejad says and what Iran does are two different stories, so it is still possible that they are attempting to manufacture the bomb.
Either that, or President Obama’s administration and the military believes that they may be manufacturing the bomb, in which case a preemptive strike may still occur.
Other than a “wag-the-dog”, what reason would the President have for mobilizing Patriot missile defense batteries and the US Navy to the Gulf region last week?
When President Bush launched the second Gulf War it was because of Saddam Hussein’s supposed weapons of mass destruction. It worked once, and perhaps the Obama administration is thinking that the same excuse will be enough to convince Americans to get engaged in a third, or fourth if you count Pakistan, middle eastern country.