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May 15, 1992 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-05-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

N TERN ATI • N A

[BACKGROUND

Danger From Iran

Iran may have nuclear weapons now
and sees the State of Israel as a target.

\/ DOUGLAS DAVIS

Foreign Correspondent

T

he threat of nuclear

and ballistic prolifera-
tion in the aftermath
of the Cold War has taken a
quantum leap following
reports that Islamic funda-
mentalist Iran already may
have crossed the final
threshold to nuclear
capability.
First item on the agenda
will be the Middle East
military balance, which will
undergo a radical change if,
as appears likely, Iran mat-
ches its nuclear weapons to a

new generation of long-
range Scud-D missiles which
will bring Israel within
range in the coming year.
Late last year, both U.S.
Congressional reports and
CIA assessments agreed
that Iran had assembled "all
or virtually all" of the corn-
ponents necessary for pro-
ducing two to three nuclear
weapons. At the time, it was
estimated that these
weapons would be opera-
tional between February
and April of this year.
Iran's advanced nuclear
research program was
halted shortly after the 1979
Islamic revolution and the

accession to power of
Ayatollah Ruhollah Kho-
meini, who declared that
atomic weapons were
"satanic."
All Akhbar Hashemi Raf-

The Iranians are
entering the
vacuum left by the
destruction of
Iraq's
non-conventional
power.

sanjani, however, had no
such inhibitions: Plans to
develop a nuclear capability

were revived when he
became Speaker of the Ma-
jlis (parliament) and ac-
celerated when he con-
solidated his power and
assumed the presidency.
Widely portrayed in the
West as a moderate, Mr.
Rafsanjani invited Iran's
leading nuclear scientists to
return from exile and work
was resumed on two un-
completed nuclear reactors,
each of which possesses
1,000-megawatt capacity, in
the town of Bushir.
In addition to the Bushir
reactors (and reportedly
with assistance from India
and China), Iran has estab-

lished an operational reactor
near Teheran, three nuclear
research facilities in
Isfahan, Teheran and
Kharg, as well as a uranium-
enrichment plant at Kazvin.
Another signal of the im-
portance Mr. Rafsanjani at-
taches to his country's
nuclear program was the
elevation of Dr. Ali Reza
Mo'ayeri, head of Iran's
Atomic Energy Agency, to
the post of Deputy Prime
Minister, accountable direct-
ly to the president himself.
In addition to its quest for
nuclear capability, Iran is
also well on the way to ac-
quiring the means of

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

31

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