Monday, July 18, 2005

Iran is close to a nuclear bomb: Iranian scientist

Q: How soon will they have the bomb?

A: As a physicist with a lot of experience and contacts inside Iran’s nuclear establishment, I have no doubt in my mind that the regime in Tehran is not far from the nuclear bomb. They have the precursors they need, so it’s a matter of engineering and time. We mustn’t have any illusions. The current leadership in Tehran sees nuclear weapons as an indispensable part of its strategy.

Q: How does the arrival of the new ultra-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad change things?

A: You have to understand that the nuclear weapons programme is the exclusive fief of the Revolutionary Guards. Now that you have at the head of the executive branch a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards with a track record as the one Ahmadinejad has, the nuclear weapons programme will receive a great boost. They will be able to make use of all the resources of the state without worrying about other internal factions. So Ahmadinejad’s arrival is going to make the nuclear clock in Iran tick faster. He is an obedient disciple of [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei, so the nuclear talks [with the Europeans] will certainly get to nowhere.

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