Iran: Breakout or Quit?

Obama administration officials occasionally talk about the quality of US intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program. For example, there was “this”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-sees-intelligence-surge-as-boost-to-confidence/2012/04/07/gIQAlCha2S_story.html _WP_ piece from the weekend. And National Security Adviser Tom Donilon “told”:http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/texttrans/2011/11/20111122144640su0.8725789.html#axzz1rmyDrryb a Brookings audience in November that the United States

bq. will work aggressively to detect any new nuclear-related efforts by Iran. We will expose them and force Iran to place them under international inspections, just as we did when *we exposed the Qom enrichment facility,* thus denying Iran the option of using the facility to secretly produce enriched uranium.

Anyway, the 2009 outing of the Fordow facility and the apparently-significant probability that future such facilities will be discovered indicates to me that Iran is being faced with a tough decision. Clearly, Iran has preferred to pursue sketchy nuclear activities in secret, but now that avenue may well be closed to them, at least past a certain point.

I suppose the above facts could make make the breakout option a bit more attractive, but not much; Iran would still be painting a target on itself, were it to go that route.

Could be why Iran, if the US intel community is to be believed, hasn’t restarted its weapons program.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.