June 4, 2015 | Quote
Pentagon: Iran Continuing Work on Nuclear Systems
Iran is continuing to develop missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons despite an interim agreement on its nuclear programs, according to a Pentagon report.
“Although Iran has paused progress in some areas of its nuclear program and fulfilled its obligations under the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), it continues to develop technological capabilities that also could be applicable to nuclear weapons, including ballistic missile development,” a one-page unclassified summary of the report says.
A copy of the report was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The report was due to Congress in January but was not sent to the Armed Services Committee as required by law until this month. Analysts said the delay appeared designed to avoid upsetting Tehran and the nuclear talks.
Disclosure of the continuing development of nuclear delivery capabilities comes amid reports that Iran increased the amount of nuclear material that could potentially be used to build nuclear weapons despite the JPOA.
The State Department sought to challenge International Atomic Energy Agency reports on the increase in Iranian nuclear material, despite President Obama’s claim that the nuclear agreement had halted Iran’s nuclear program.
Last year Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified that Iran “would choose a ballistic missile as its preferred method of delivering nuclear weapons.” And in February, Iran launched a Safir long-range missile system.
Mark Dubowitz, another Iran expert, said Tehran is continuing to develop long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, in violation of U.N. Security Council limits.
“The Obama administration ceded to Iranian demands that their missile program was non-negotiable and, instead, has tried to reassure Congress that this missile threat can be mitigated by constraining Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear warhead,” said Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
“This major administration concession to Iran will greatly complicate the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to detect whether Iran has develop a nuclear warhead-carrying ICBM capable of reaching the continental United States,” he added. “By its very nature, it is much more difficult to detect and prevent warhead development, which can take place in small, covert facilities, than it is to determine the nature and extent of a hostile missile program. In yet another example of how deeply flawed the emerging Iran deal will be, Tehran will have a much easier pathway to develop systems.”
Read the full article here.