The official stance shared by Israel and the US (as well as the West in general) is that Iran is seeking to produce nuclear weapons. This consensus is based not only on covert intelligence, but also on a number of indisputable facts: 1. The IAEA report stating that Iran did not provide sufficient explanation for a range of activities, including the experiments at Parchin, the efforts to conceal the site, and the refusal to allow access to international monitors.
2. The failure to report construction of the facility at Natanz and the underground Fordu facility as required by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which Iran is a signatory. Not only were these projects unreported, but their existence was deliberately kept hidden, adding to the suspicion that they are military in nature. Otherwise, why the need for secrecy and extreme protective measures? 3. The testing of nuclear weapons detonators and missiles capable of delivering warheads weighing as much as a ton, which can only have one purpose.
4. Uranium enrichment far beyond the extent required by non-military use. Iran already receives sufficient nuclear fuel for the plant at Bushehr from Russia, so any further enrichment activity is obviously not being undertaken for peaceful purposes.
5. The reactor under construction in Arak, which is designed to produce plutonium, in an effort to pursue a second route to a nuclear weapon alongside uranium enrichment. There is no other logical reason for erecting this facility.
These facts are the “smoking gun” that led to global agreement as to Iran’s intentions, and subsequently to the sanctions initiated against it. The current debate over whether or not it plans to discontinue its nuclear weapons program is missing the point. But as long as no one knows for sure what Iran’s true intentions are, believing in the “spirit of change” is an appealing option for the Americans and the rest of the world.
We are all familiar with AA and its 12- step program. One starts by standing up in front of the group and declaring: “My name is Joe and I’m an alcoholic.” Everyone applauds, and the recovery process can begin. That is to say, admitting one’s problem in public, and to oneself, is an essential condition that anyone genuinely interested in making a change must meet.
But although the whole world may know the truth, Iran continues to claim that it does not now have, and has never had, any intention of building nuclear weapons. In other words, irrespective of its future plans, which are impossible to know, we can say for certain that right now Iran is lying.
The Iranians want the applause and encouragement of the audience (which they are getting) without admitting they have a problem. Were they to say, “We were wrong; we were developing nuclear weapons, but we’re halting those activities,” they would be taking the first step toward redeeming themselves. Unwillingness to admit the error of one’s ways is a clear indication of future behavior: Iran will go on “drinking.”
It goes without saying that a diplomatic solution is preferable to war. Moreover, it won’t be long before Iran’s true intentions become apparent. But for the time being, how can anyone believe, no matter how much they may want to, that a sincere desire for change begins with a lie? Nor should we forget that in the background, the Iranian terror industry continues to flourish: Hezbollah, Hamas, genocide in Syria, a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US on American soil. And meanwhile, the centrifuges are still running.
Translated by Sara Kitai. firstname.lastname@example.org