Sunday, February 14, 2016

Does Iran Really Prefer Nuclear Missiles To Suitcase Nukes?

Would it make sense for the world’s foremost terrorist state to attack Israel or the U.S. with a ballistic missile, as satellites track exactly where it was launched, when Iran could instead have a terrorist operative smuggle an atomic bomb across a porous border and cause massive destruction and mayhem anonymously?
The latest Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community, presented Tuesday to the Senate Armed Services Committee by President Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, contends that missiles are Tehran’s nuclear preference.
Iran's Bushehr nuclear facility. (AP)
“We judge that Tehran would choose ballistic missiles as its preferred method of delivering nuclear weapons, if it builds them,” the 29-page report states. “Iran’s ballistic missiles are inherently capable of delivering WMD, and Tehran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East” plus “the means and motivation to develop longer-range missiles, including ICBMs.”
The report also calls Iran “the foremost state sponsor of terrorism.” So why doesn’t it make the connection between building a nuclear bomb and enlisting a terrorist as its vehicle?
No less a personage than former President Bill Clinton, speaking at the Global Economic Forum in South Africa in 2010, warned, “The major danger of Iran becoming a nuclear power (is that) the material they would have to amass to make these bombs will become the juiciest target in the world for non-state actors who would like to have suitcase nuclear bombs.”
Clinton asked, “Will they sell it to them? Will they give it to them? Can it be stolen by some corrupt person in the supply chain?”
If Iran providing suitcase nukes to terrorists was a threat five and a half years ago, as Bill Clinton contended, what reason is there to believe Tehran has soured on that stealth method of delivery since then?
Read the rest of this Thomas McArdle op-ed HERE.

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