William Burns is head of the Central Intelligence Agency. Prior to coming to that job, he was head of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In that capacity, he partnered with elements of the Chinese Thousand Talents Program, which recruits American scientists to work for Chinese intelligence and steals American technology.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal’s annual CEO Council recently, Burns advised that the CIA “doesn’t see any evidence that Iran’s Supreme Leader [Ali Khamenei] has made a decision to move to weaponize.” Burns was referring to weaponizing nuclear technology and acquiring nuclear weapons.
In effect, Burns fully endorsed the Iranian position that it seeks to exploit nuclear technology for peaceful purposes only. This is, of course, occurring against the backdrop of ongoing U.S. – Iran talks about a return to the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. The table is now set. We can safely surrender to the Iranians, again, and base the entire deal on the “firm” foundation of CIA’s sober assessment.
The entire debate over Iran’s intent in regard to nuclear technology is, of course, absurd and always has been. Iran has vast oil reserves. It is a major oil producer and has no conceivable need for nuclear power at any point in the foreseeable future. The idea that it is pursuing nuclear technology for energy production makes no sense.
More to the point, though, all things nuclear are not the same. To build nuclear weapons and deploy them you need to do all kinds of things that have no application whatsoever to civilian nuclear programs. Building an atomic bomb has very little to do with building a nuclear power plant.
To build a bomb you need:
Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU). Naturally occurring uranium is useless for a bomb. You have to increase the concentration of a particular isotope U-235 dramatically to produce HEU, which can then be used in a bomb. The process of enriching uranium is lengthy and complex. It requires a considerable period of time, but as the enrichment level increases, the process speeds up. You spend most of your time getting the concentration of U-235 increased a few percentage points, and after that, the work goes much, much more quickly.
According to the Institute for Science and International Security’s assessment of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) November 2021 report on the Iranian nuclear program, Iran is now in a position to complete the enrichment process and have sufficient HEU for a nuclear weapon within three weeks. The same assessment found that Iran is now successfully working with uranium metal, which is a key step in being able to actually construct a bomb. Uranium metal has no utility for peaceful power production. Likewise, HEU has no application in nuclear power generation.
Exploding Bridge Wires and Neutron Initiators. Most nuclear devices are implosion devices. The design the Iranians are working from is assessed to be an implosion device. Such a device requires the detonation of explosives around a spherical core at precisely the same time and with precisely the same force. In practice, this requires incredible precision and very highly engineered components. The detonation of these explosives must also coincide with the firing of a neutron initiator inside the bomb. The Iranians are known to have worked on this technology at the Parchin facility. There is no utility for any of this technology outside of weapons development.
Delivery Systems. The Iranians have a large and highly developed arsenal of long-range missiles. In recent years it has added to this a wide range of cruise missiles. Many of these systems are inherently capable of carrying nuclear weapons. In some cases, in fact, the only type of payload that would justify the expense of the weapons system would be a nuclear warhead. The Iranians have made clear from the outset of negotiations, going back to the Obama administration, that they will not ever discuss the possibility of giving up their missile systems.
This means the day the Iranians produce a functional nuclear weapon they will likely be able to mate it with a delivery system. Tehran – overnight – will acquire the ability to wipe Tel Aviv off the face of the Earth.
The above are examples only of the kinds of information that make crystal clear that the Iranians intend to acquire nuclear weapons and are standing right now on the cusp of doing so. If the radical Islamic regime in Tehran succeeds in acquiring nuclear weapons, the entire balance of power in the Middle East will shift and war will be virtually inevitable. Neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia will accept a nuclear-armed Iran.
It does not matter. The fix is in. We are not going to bear down on the ayatollahs. We are going to capitulate, free them of sanctions and turn them loose to finish the job of arming themselves with nuclear weapons.
Jake Sullivan was formerly Vice-President Biden’s national security advisor. He is now the National Security Advisor to President Biden. Sullivan carried out the secret negotiations with Iran in Oman that led to the original Iran nuclear deal. He is on record as wanting a return to that deal as quickly as possible.
Nothing stands in his way. Burns has laid the foundation. Cue the capitulation.