…do not exist. Moreover, the Islamic Republic of Iran does not have, never has had, and never will have, a nuclear weapons program.
Why do I believe this? Because:-
1. The leadership of this theocratic state have always been opposed to nuclear weapons on religious grounds. Simply put, nuclear weapons cannot be used without killing very many civilians. This is forbidden in Islam. Here is a recent statement from the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
“The Iranian nation has never pursued and will never pursue nuclear weapons,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.
“There is no doubt that the decision makers in the countries opposing us know well that Iran is not after nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic, logically, religiously and theoretically, considers the possession of nuclear weapons a grave sin and believes the proliferation of such weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.”
This is consistent with dozens of previous statements by him, his predecessor, by President Ahmadinejad and other officials.
2. The USA National Intelligence Estimate on Iran in 2007 judged “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program”. This was confirmed by an update in 2011 to the US Senate.
3. Iran has been a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty since 1970, and its nuclear work has been subject to intensive inspections. The IAEA inspectors continue to report that “there has been no diversion of declared nuclear materials (to military uses)”.
4. As a religious person, I agree with Khamenei that the possession of nuclear weapons is a grave sin. As a logical person I agree with him that proliferation of nuclear weapons is senseless, destructive and dangerous.
I have long been puzzled by the statement from USA Intelligence, quoted above, that Iran ‘halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003’. The inspectors had never reported the existence of such a program, and no evidence of such a program had ever been made public.
In its November 2011 report on Iran, the IAEA inspectors discussed a ‘possible military dimension’ to Iran’s nuclear program before 2003, based largely on evidence from the ‘alleged studies document’ or ‘smoking laptop’ that they had obtained from US or Israeli intelligence in 2005, which Iran claimed to be a forgery, and which the inspectors had now decided was ‘credible’. This does not describe a program to build nuclear weapons, but of research into some dual-use technologies: in particular, the presence of a large tank at the Parchin military site used for testing implosions from conventional high explosives, which can be used for making industrial diamonds, but could also be used for testing triggers for nuclear bombs.
Since that report was issued, I have supposed the USA Intelligence statement to be based on the ‘smoking laptop’, but exaggerating it into a nuclear weapons program.
This has now been confirmed in an article by Gareth Porter on AntiWar.com (31 July 2013). It shows that these research programs had been carried out without authorisation by the religious leadership, and that when Hassan Rouhani (now the President of Iran) became nuclear policy chief in 2003, he ordered the closure of the programs. This information derives from an article in the New York Times by Francois Nicoullaud who was French Ambassador to Iran at the time.
Latest revision: 2 November, 2013 | Shortlink: religion-science-peace.org/?p=74