President Barack Obama’s
nuclear deal with Iran is not just a bad deal. It is the worst deal
possible — because there is a good chance Iran already has a bomb.
The deal assumes Iran has no
nuclear weapons, despite having a nuclear program for 65 years and
crashing on a bomb for 25 years. Other states developed the bomb in
three to 12 years, based on open source estimates:
The first atomic bombs — two
different designs, took the U.S. three years (1942-45).
The USSR tested its first
A-bomb in six years (1943-49).
The United Kingdom took 12
years (1940-52), slowed by politics and a bad economy.
France took four years
China took nine years
India took five years
South Africa took 10 to 12
Pakistan tested for political
reasons in 1998, but developed A-bombs much earlier (1972-1984) in
North Korea tested in 2006,
but developed an arsenal of bombs and missiles much earlier
(1984-1992/94) in eight to 10 years.
That Iran should be so slow to
develop the bomb strains credulity, especially since Russia and
North Korea are helping them.
When Iranian dissidents
exposed Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program in 2002,
then-Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky
declared: “Iran does have nuclear weapons. These are non-
strategic nuclear weapons. ... As for the danger of Iran’s attack
on the United States, the danger is zero.”
Baluyevsky’s knowledge about
Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program, when that program was
newly revealed to the West, has never been explained.
Although the International
Atomic Energy Agency did not say so, its 2011 report not only proves
that Iran has a nuclear weapons program — it is a “smoking
gun” that Iran already has the bomb. Prior to 2003, Iran had all
the knowledge and components needed to build the bomb.
More than 12 years ago, Iran:
Cast uranium hemispheres for a
nuclear implosion weapon and verified the design with non-fissile
explosive testing in a containment chamber. (During its World War II
Manhattan Project, the U.S. was 16 months from the bomb at this
Developed and tested exploding
bridgewire detonators, necessary to an implosion nuclear weapon.
(The Manhattan Project was six months from the bomb at this stage.)
initiators used to start a fission chain-reaction in a nuclear
Drafted 14 different workable
designs for a nuclear weapon to fit inside the re-entry vehicle for
the high-explosive (HE) warhead of Iran’s Shahab-III medium-range
missile. (Designing a nuclear weapon is a lot harder than changing
the shape of a re-entry vehicle. Obviously, Iran sought to disguise
the warhead as the HE warhead of the Shahab-III.)
Developed fusing systems for a
nuclear missile warhead to perform a ground-burst or high-altitude
burst above 3,000 meters. (The Congressional EMP Commission found
that in 2002 Iran performed five fusing tests of the Shahab-III at
high-altitudes — explicable only as practicing nuclear EMP
Doesn’t Iran need a
full-yield explosive test to prove its nuclear weapon? No, component
testing is sufficient. The U.S. never tested the Hiroshima uranium
bomb — Hiroshima was the test. (The 1945 test at Alamogordo was of
a plutonium bomb used on Nagasaki.) North Korea, Pakistan and South
Africa clandestinely developed nuclear weapons without testing, or
years prior to testing. The U.S. has not tested since 1992.
The 2011 the IAEA report warns
Iran is clandestinely pursuing uranium and plutonium pathways to the
bomb in facilities inaccessible to the West — as they will remain
under the nuclear deal with Iran.
Like President Bill
Clinton’s nuclear deal with North Korea, which pretended
Pyongyang’s clandestine nuclear weapons program was frozen,
Obama’s nuclear deal will enable Iran clandestinely to build until
a nuclear-armed terror state is irreversible.
Prudent policymakers should
recognize Iran almost certainly has the bomb, probably nuclear
warheads for the Shahab-III missile, and maybe for intercontinental
delivery by satellite. Iran will not stop at a few nukes on the
shelf. It aims for a nuclear missile force that is usable against
its region, Europe and U.S. targets.
What to do?
Prohibit Iran from testing
long-range missiles or orbiting satellites — assure our missile
defense systems can shoot them down. Harden the electric grid and
other critical infrastructures against nuclear EMP attack. Re-impose
sanctions and support Iranian dissidents, a majority of the
population, that are seeking regime change. Pursue policies and
programs to demonstrate the U.S. is willing and able to use military
options to disarm Iran. Strengthen sanctions and insist on
compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Ambassador R. James Woolsey
was director of Central Intelligence and is chairman of the
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies; Dr. William R. Graham was
President Ronald Reagan’s science adviser, administrator of NASA
and chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission; Ambassador Henry
Cooper was director of the Strategic Defense Initiative and chief
negotiator of the Defense and Space Talks with the USSR; Fritz
Ermarth was chairman of the National Intelligence Council; Dr. Peter
Vincent Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and
Homeland Security, a congressional advisory board, and served in the
EMP Commission, the Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed
Services Committee and the CIA.