The untimely demise of Iranian nuclear scientists has led to much speculation, but the mullahs aren’t deterred, andI discussed this yesterday with Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren:
HH: Now Mr. Ambassador, not long ago, Vice President Cheney was here, and we were talking about his memoir, in which he describes in great detail the debates over the Syrian nuclear facility, and what the United States didn’t do, and what Israel did. Have you had a chance to read that? And can you confirm the accuracy as well as you understand it of the Vice President’s account?
MO: I have certainly read the account, but I cannot confirm the accuracy about that operation.
HH: All right, in terms of the Australian newspaper, it reported yesterday that the International Atomic Energy Agency no concludes that Iran has stepped up its uranium enrichment, and one commentator said they are within less, you know, two months and six days of going critical. Your reaction to that? Is that, in fact, the opinion of the Israeli government as well?
MO: Well, I can’t go into the details of our assessments, but I will tell you that we do not have much time, and that yes, the Iranians have overcome virtually all of the technical difficulties they encountered the previous year. They are enriching uranium at a pace, at a very quick rate. They have now put in centrifuges that can quadruple the amount of uranium they can enrich, and they have also learned to enrich it at a much higher level, approaching the level you need for weapons-grade uranium. At the same time, they’ve developed a missile system that is capable of carrying nuclear warheads not only through the region, but now to Western Europe, and probably within the decade, to the Eastern Coast of the United States as well. So the uranium nuclear program is a threat not only to Israel and the Middle East, but to the entire world. And the day, if and when Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it will be a game-changer. It’s the end of non-proliferation globally, not just in the Middle East. That’s why we are determined to preventing it, and why the United States is determined to preventing that happening.