Thursday, November 18, 2004

Iran Matching Nuclear Warheads To Missiles

MSNBC and Reuters are reporting that Colin Powell and the state department has reason to believe that Iran is working on putting nuclear warheads on their missiles.

"I have seen some information that would suggest that they have been actively working on delivery systems. . . . You don't have a weapon until you put it in something that can deliver a weapon," Powell told reporters traveling with him to Chile for an Asia-Pacific economic summit. "I'm not talking about uranium or fissile material or the warhead; I'm talking about what one does with a warhead."
"I'm talking about information that says they not only have these missiles, but I am aware of information that suggests that they were working hard as to how to put the two together," Powell said, referring to the process of matching warheads to missiles. He spoke to reporters during a refueling stop in Manaus, Brazil.
"There is no doubt in my mind -- and it's fairly straightforward from what we've been saying for years -- that they have been interested in a nuclear weapon that has utility, meaning that it is something they would be able to deliver, not just something that sits there," Powell said.

There are also separate reports saying that Iran is enriching Uranium to be used in nuclear weapons according to an exile group called the National Council for Resistance in Iran, or NCRI.

On Wednesday, Mohaddessin used satellite photos to pinpoint what he said was the new facility, inside a 60-acre complex in the northeast part of Tehran known as the Center for the Development of Advanced Defense Technology. The group said that the site also houses Iranian chemical and biological weapons programs and that uranium enrichment began there a year and a half ago, to replace a nearby facility that was dismantled in March 2004 ahead of a visit by a U.N. inspections team.

The group gave no evidence for its claims, but Mohaddessin said, "Our sources were 100 percent sure about their intelligence." He and other group members said the NCRI relies on human sources, including scientists and other people working in the facilities and locals who might live near the facilities and see suspicious activities.

They predict that Iran will have a deliverable nuclear weapon within the next 5 to 6 years. This is serious. The Bush administration said that it hasn't decided what to do with this information but plans to take it to the UN Security Council.

I doubt that Iran will be the recipient of an invasion like Iraq. I believe our forces are too spread out until we have more stability in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nevertheless, we have a unique opportunity to put pressure on Iran and support many of the democratic revolutionaries already present in Iran from our position in Iraq and from our new bases in the region.

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