Director of U.S. National Intelligence: Iran has the means to assemble & deliver nuclear device, but question is whether it has the political will.
Iran has the technological capabilities to produce nuclear weapons should it decide to do so, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, said in a report to a US Senate intelligence committee on Wednesday.
The report, titled “US Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment,” discusses how Iran could make and deliver nuclear bombs if it made the political decision to do so.
“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,” wrote Clapper. “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.”
The report states that not only has Tehran updated and redesigned its centrifuges, but it has also compiled a large quantity of uranium hexafluoride, a compound used in the process of uranium enrichment, The Times of Israel reported. These new developments give Iran a better opportunity to produce fuel for nuclear weapons.
However, Clapper added that even if it is within Iran’s power to product weapons-grade uranium, it would not be able to do so without being detected: “Despite this progress, we assess that Iran would not be able to divert safeguarded material and produce enough WGU [weapons-grade uranium] for a weapon before such activity would be discovered.”
Due to the greater supervision and increased transparency that Iran might agree to under the latest interim deal in Geneva with the six world powers, it would be difficult for the country to hide such activity. The interim deal calls for a complete halt to high-level enrichment and for Iran to “provide transparency.”
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