The US political elite has split over the Iranian nuclear program. The White House, the Congress and US special services are breaking the lance over the USA’s future politics regarding Teheran. The time given to Iran by the UN Security Council to suspend the nuclear research is elapsing in a week. It seems that the Bush’s administration does not know what to do with the disobedient country afterwards.
All the emotions have been expressed on 29 pages of the report exposed Wednesday by the Intelligence Committee of the US Congress. The report runs that Iran poses a strategic threat to the USA and its allies. The authors of the document criticize Teheran for its aspiration to possess nuclear weapons and provide financial support to terrorist groups in Lebanon, Palestine and other territories. Furthermore, the repot says, Iran’s National Security Service actively supports Iraqi guerrillas.
US congressmen believe that Iran will become a much larger threat to the USA if it eventually develops nuclear weapons. They particularly believe that the Iranian administration is certain that A-bombs will guarantee protection against retaliation strikes. In this case a possibility for Iran to use nuclear weapons against US troops and their allies in the region increases considerably, US officials said. On the other hand, Israel may consider it impossible to get accustomed to a nuclear neighbour. The Israeli government may decide to conduct a military operation against nuclear objects in Iran. US law-makers think that it will definitely exacerbate the situation in the region.
It is worthy of note that US intelligence services have found themselves unequal to the occasion. They are unable to make a detailed representation of the threat coming from Iranian nuclear activities. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said that Iran would be able to develop nuclear weapons not earlier than in the beginning or in the middle of the next decade. US congressmen believe this information is wrong. They reminded that the government of Iran promised to build the cascade of 3,000 centrifuges already in the beginning of 2007. The system will allow to produce the inner content for one A-bomb a year. Once they build another complex to fuel centrifuges from light-water reactors (which Russia is currently building in Bushehr), the term will be cut to only two months.
US congressmen also believe that Iran may use spent nuclear fuel of light-water reactors for the same purpose. Teheran came to a special agreement with Russia to return the spent nuclear fuel, but this fact does not seem to be convincing for the congressmen. To crown it all, the authors of the report claimed that US intelligence services underestimate Iran’s role in the escalation of the situation in the Middle East, where Teheran supposedly dooms Israel and the West to sufferings.
The report summarizes that the unpredictable Iranian government is firmly determined to develop the banned nuclear weapons. The Bush administration and influential Republican congressmen are concerned about the poor activities conducted by US intelligence services, The New York Times wrote. The notorious statement made by the US intelligence in March 2003 about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq made the US administration launch a massive operation in Iraq. The weapons were not found, but the US troops are still staying in Iraq and no one knows when or if ever they are going to be withdrawn from there.
The director of the Russian and Asian programs of the Washington-based Institute of World Security, Nikolai Zlobin, said that the US establishment has split over the issue of the Iranian nuclear program. The majority of US top officials stand strictly against any military operation against Teheran.
The USA has been expressing its concerns over Iran’s military nuclear program continuously. However, non-military nuclear power does not exist at all. “The technologies used in this field are military technologies by definition,” Zlobin said. “Other countries will inevitably follow Iran because nuclear power has been gaining more and more advantages against the background of growing prices on oil, for example. Maybe they will not wish to develop nuclear weapons. However, there are no non-military nuclear technologies at present moment. In this case the USA will have to stand up against all countries developing their nuclear technologies,” Nikolai Zlobin said.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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