In its most recent report, as Bret Stephens writes in the NYT, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has revealed that Iran is stonewalling its effort to investigate Iran’s possible pursuit of nuclear weapons in violation of the 2015 Pact.
In an explosive exposé in April of 2018, prime minster “Bibi” Netanyahu claimed Iran was hiding an extensive nuclear weapons program in a secret warehouse in the outskirts of Tehran.
Experts dismissed the prime minister’s allegations, calling them old news, attributing what Israeli intelligence found in the warehouse to the nuclear’s weapons program under Saddam Hussein that had been terminated by 2003.
But now the contents of and possible nuclear-related activities at the warehouse may not be old news after all. Satellite imagery “shows the site being gradually emptied of multiple large containers between July and September of 2018, following Israel’s heist earlier that year of a huge cache of Iranian nuclear documents.”
“As for the I.A.E.A., the agency only got around to inspecting the site earlier this year, long after the suspicious materials had vanished… But nuclear inspectors were nonetheless able to detect radioactive particles, corroborating Israeli claims about the purpose of the warehouse. On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Iran is now refusing to answer the agency’s questions about just what material was stored at the warehouse — and, more importantly, where it might be now.”
Were our worst fears about Iran’s intentions confirmed by the IAEA, this would be a bitter-sweet vindication for the much-maligned Israeli prime minister.
The situation is getting more tense because has recently made clear that it plans to “take further incremental steps to openly breach the nuclear deal.”
What those steps would signify is not clear, but the implications for Israel’s security are. Israel does not have the luxury to sit idly by or disregard any nuclear-related activity by a nation whose leaders have vowed to erase it from the map.
If this is only a bluff by Iran, intended to get the West to ease crippling sanctions imposed by the U.S., it might be one of the costliest—and perhaps the gravest—mistake the regime in Iran ever makes.