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Yes Iran Can: Nuke Program Passes Point of No Return

IDF Intelligence Chief confirms: Iran has the technology to develop a nuclear bomb - and is exploiting Obama's policy of dialogue.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 3/9/2009, 11:11 AM

IDF Intelligence Chief Gen. Amos Yadlin confirmed on Sunday, in his monthly briefing to the Cabinet, that ayatollah-controlled Iran has the technology to develop a nuclear bomb - and that it is taking advantage of U.S. President Obama's dialogue policy.

“Iran has crossed the technological threshold,” Yadlin said, “such that its reaching military nuclear capabilities is a matter of adapting its strategy to the target of manufacturing a nuclear bomb.” The bottom line, according to Yadlin, is that it is entirely up to Iran’s decision makers, independent of outside considerations and factors, to decide when to proceed with producing the bomb.

Mullen and IAEA, Too
Yadlin thus confirmed earlier reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Commander Admiral Mike Mullen. Mullen said two weeks ago that Tehran now has enough fissile material to build a bomb. The IAEA announced last week that its earlier reports were mistaken, and now acknowledges that it has evidence that Iran has enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon.

Practically while Yadlin was making his report, Iran announced that it had successfully tested a new long-range air-to-surface missile.

Iran Hoping to Buy Time
“Iran continues to amass hundreds of kilograms of low-grade enriched uranium,” Yadlin said, “and is hoping to take advantage of the dialogue with Washington to buy time to advance towards the ability to build a bomb.” Iran will not stop this activity while the dialogue continues, Yadlin implied, because though “Iran and its allies hope that the spirit of change in the United States is genuine, they think that it is a step before the formulation of a more effective coalition against them.”

Not only Israel has cause for concern, Yadlin said: “The moderate Arab nations fear that the [Obama] administration’s dialogue with Iran will come at their expense, and that it will be exploited by Iran and Syria, which will continue engaging in arming and terrorism while appearing to dialogue.”

Iran currently has 4000 active centrifuges, the IAEA reported, which produce the low-grade enrichment of more than a ton of uranium. In addition, Iran now has the wherewithal to enrich the uranium to a high-grade level; 25 kilograms of high-grade enriched uranium is sufficient for a bomb.

New Form of Appeasement
Some see Obama’s approach of talking with Tehran a modern form of the appeasement that enabled Nazi Germany to actualize its threats. Elements of this policy include:

  • Last week's invitation by the U.S. to Iran to an international conference on Afghanistan – a clear break with the Bush policy of viewing Iran as part of an "axis of evil.”
  • Obama's desire to fight jointly with Iran against the Taliban – although only the more extremist elements thereof.
  • Obama's offer of economic incentives to Iran to stop its nuclear program.
  • Obama's expression of “recognition” of Iran’s strength and regional position.
However, as Gen. Yadlin told the Cabinet on Sunday, Iran plans to use the new American dialogue policy to its own advantage – and that of its nuclear program.