DEBKAfile (Link) (April 13, 2010)
This warning, along with an announcement that Iran would join the world’s nuclear club within a month, raised the pitch of Iranian anti-US rhetoric to a new high Tuesday, April 13, as 47 world leaders gathered in Washington for President Barack Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit. The statement published by Kayhan said: “If the US strikes Iran with nuclear weapons, there are elements which will respond with nuclear blasts in the centers of America’s main cities.” For the first time, DEBKAfile’s military sources report, Tehran indicated the possibility of passing nuclear devices to terrorists capable of striking inside the United States.
Without specifying whether those elements would be Iranian or others, Tehran aimed at the heart of the Nuclear Security Summit by threatening US cities with nuclear terror.
DEBKAfile’s Iranians sources report that Tehran is playing brinkmanship to demonstrate that the Washington summit, from which Iran and North Korea were excluded, failed before it began, because terrorist elements capable of striking inside the US had already acquired nuclear devices for that purpose.
Although Iran has yet to attain operational nuclear arms, our military sources believe it does possess the makings of primitive nuclear devices or “dirty bombs.”
In an interview ahead of the summit, President Obama warned: “If there was ever a detonation in New York City, or London, or Johannesburg, the ramifications... would be devastating.”
In another shot at the summit, Behzad Soltani, deputy director of Iran’s Atomic Commission, announced Tuesday: “Iran will join the world nuclear club within a month in a bid to deter possible attacks on the country.” He added: “No country would even think about attacking Iran once it is in the club.”
The Iranian official’s boast was run by the Fars news agency, published by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Behzadi further pointed to the construction of 360 MW nuclear power plant and a 40 MW research reactor in Iran’s central city of Arak, claiming the projects were 70 percent complete.
This plant is generally believed to have been built to enable Iran to produce weapons-grade plutonium as an alternative weapons fuel to highly-enriched uranium and material for radioactive weapons.
Sunday, April 11, DEBKAfile reported that Iran is making much better progress than Western and Israeli intelligence estimates have held toward completing the Arak heavy water reactor.
Along with the strides made in its nuclear manufacturing capacity, Tehran’s anti-US rhetoric has grown more strident in the past week. Thursday, April 8, Iran’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff Maj.Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi said if the United States made any military moves on the Islamic Republic “none of the American troops in the region would go back home alive.”
DEBKAfile’s military sources report the presence of app. 220,000 US soldiers in the countries around Iran, including Gulf bases and waters, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iranian general was reacting to US defense secretary Robert Gates’ warning that Washington’s policy decision to limit the use of nuclear arms if attacked did not apply to Iran and North Korea.