Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) possesses evidence that the Iranians worked on nuclear triggering technology.
This technology has only one purpose: to set off a nuclear weapon.
More importantly, the inspectors concluded that Iran has started recovering from the Stuxnet cyber worm that infected its nuclear program two years ago. The country is now producing “low-enriched uranium at rates slightly exceeding what it produced before” the attack.
The IAEA also has evidence that Iran conducted “studies involving the removal of the conventional high explosive payload from the warhead of the Shahab-3 missile and replac[ing] it with a spherical nuclear payload.”
Now Western intelligence estimates Iran is at least a year, and most likely, several years away from assembling a nuclear weapon.
With American forces drawing down in Iraq, the United States is in a much better strategic position to deny Iran nuclear capability. Furthermore, there is widespread Arab support for a strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, especially among the Gulf Arabs.
Additionally, the Israelis will likely continue to push for military action on the basis that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to Israel.
Whether it is the right policy or not, I fear that the conditions are ripe for action against Iran in the next several years.
Only time will tell.