TEL AVIV, (BM) – Recent Israeli intelligence estimates have indicated that Iran will have enough highly enriched uranium to build a single nuclear warhead by the end of 2020, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting Military Watch.
This comes following threats in April that Tehran would withdraw from the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and its relaxation on uranium enrichment restrictions put in place under the JCPOA nuclear deal in November and again in early January in response to American violations of the agreement.
The Israeli Defence Forces separately estimated that Tehran does not have the capabilities to mount a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile – and would require at least two years to achieve this. Iran’s acquisitions of North Korean missile and nuclear technologies, however, could allow it to miniaturise warheads and mount them on missiles considerably sooner.
Iran’s most prolific missile designs including the Musudan, the Khorramshahr, the Emad and the Shahab-3 among others are all of North Korean origin – and at many of these in Korean service are capable of mounting nuclear warheads. All of these missile designs are capable of striking targets in Israel, with the Musudan capable of striking as far as Western Europe.
How Israel and its allies will respond to this assessment remains uncertain, but short of pressing the United States to return to the JCPOA there appears little that can be done short of military action, and possibly further cyber attacks, to halt or slow Iran’s path to nuclear weapons.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has officially forbidden the development of nuclear weapons through an issued Fatwa – a citation of Islamic law – although this could change should Iran’s perceptions of its national security situation also shift.
Israel has been a major nuclear power for over 50 years since the mid-late 1960s, as is Iran’s neighbour Pakistan and the United States which retains a vast military presence in countries surrounding Iran.
Iran previously bordered the Soviet Union, which was also a nuclear power, and Iraq which had an advanced nuclear weapons program.
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Source: Military Watch Magazine