September 25, 2009

September 25, 2009 | Commentary on Middle East, Missile Defense

Seven Things to Note on Iran

What a shock: Iran has another undeclared nuclear facility that is likely supporting a nuclear weapons program!

Yes, that's right; press reports indicate that earlier this week Iran finally got around to notifying the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency of a previously-undisclosed nuclear-enrichment facility, located on a military base near the city of Qom.

There are several things that should be noted about this disturbing development based on what we know this morning:

1. An additional enrichment facility allows Iran to make more enriched uranium faster.

2. If this facility is up and running, this means that previous estimates on when Iran could achieve a nuclear weapons breakout are now inaccurate.

3. Basically: A nuclear Iran is closer than we thought it was yesterday.

4. This is another violation of Iran's obligation under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which requires all members to declare all nuclear facilities and allow inspection. (Of course, Iran violated the NPT for some 20 years by not disclosing its nuclear program until it was exposed in 2003.)

5. It's also very troubling that a supposed-civilian facility is located on a military base. It will be hard for Iran to explain this one, but they will try.

6. The Iran problem is getting worse -- not better.

7. It's high-time the Obama administration do something concrete about it beyond pinning their hopes on upcoming talks, which will likely result in no changes to the Iranian nuclear program.

Peter Brookes is senior fellow for National Security Affairs in the Davis Institute at The Heritage Foundation.

About the Author

Peter Brookes Senior Fellow, National Security Affairs
Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy

Related Issues: Middle East, Missile Defense

First Appeared in National Review Online