TEHRAN (FNA)- A military strike against Iran’ nuclear facilities may not put an end to its nuclear capabilities and would probably only delay the country’s nuclear progress, a renowned American think tank said Friday.
The analysis by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) found that Iran’s uranium facilities are too widely dispersed and protected – and, in some cases, concealed too well – to be effectively destroyed by warplanes. And any damage to Iran’s nuclear program could be quickly repaired.
“Current knowledge of the (Iranian) complex is lacking,” the ISIS study said.
“Without that knowledge, an attack is unlikely to significantly delay Iran’s mastery of enrichment with gas centrifuges.”
The principal author of the report, the ISIS president and a former UN weapons inspector, David Albright claimed that any damage to Iran’s nuclear program could be quickly repaired.
Iran manufactures key components of its nuclear program, making the country self-sufficient regarding the technology, Albright expounded.
While the UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), is enriching uranium to 3 percent, a rate consistent with electricity generation, the West accuses the country of making efforts to build a nuclear bomb.
Although the White House claims to be committed to a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff, Washington and its ally Tel Aviv have threatened to strike Iran’s nuclear sites should the country continue uranium enrichment.
Iran cites diplomacy as the only acceptable means for clarifying the nature of its nuclear program and ending the nuclear standoff. Tehran has, however, warned that Israel and 32 US bases in the region will be targeted should the country come under attack.
The ISIS study also cautions that an attack against Iranian sites will backfire by compelling the country to acquire nuclear weaponry, The Washington Post reported.
“An attack would likely leave Iran angry, more nationalistic, fed up with international inspectors and nonproliferation treaties,” Albright said. “Iran would likely launch a “crash” program to quickly obtain nuclear weapons.”
Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.
Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s illegitimate calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.
Tehran has dismisses West’s demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians’ national resolve to continue the path.
Iran has also insisted that it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.
The Islamic Republic has also repeatedly stressed that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of IAEA’s questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.
Yet, the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran’s nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.
Washington’s push for additional UN penalties contradicts the report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head – one in November and the other one in February – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seems to be completely irrational.
The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran’s cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran’s nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.
The UN nuclear watchdog has so far carried out at least 14 surprise inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites, but found nothing to support the allegations.
Observers believe that the shift of policy by the White House to send William Burns – the third highest-ranking diplomat in the US – to the talks with Iran happened after Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran lost steam due to the growing international vigilance.
US President George W. Bush finished a tour of the Middle East in winter to gain the consensus of his Arab allies to unite against Iran.
But hosting officials of the regional nations dismissed Bush’s allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.
Many world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure against Iran unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports, stressing that Tehran’s case should be normalized and returned to the UN nuclear watchdog due to the Islamic Republic’s increased cooperation with the agency.