A second US report in less than a week reveals that while negotiating a nuclear deal, Iran has been covertly building its military power and weapons technology.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News
Iran continues to develop technologies that “could be applicable to nuclear weapons,” including ballistic missiles, and is strengthening its military power while negotiating with the P5+1 to complete a deal on its nuclear program, the US Defense Department said.
According to an unclassified summary from a Pentagon annual assessment of Iran’s military capability, which was submitted to Congress and revealed Thursday on Bloomberg, Iran is developing its military prowess.
The Islamic Republic’s military doctrine is categorized as defensive by the report, intended to insulate the regime “from the consequence of Tehran’s more aggressive policies, such as use of covert action and terrorism, rather than as a means to project Iranian power.”
The doctrine “is designed to deter an attack, survive an initial strike, and retaliate against an aggressor to force a diplomatic solution to hostilities,” it said.
“Covert activities appear to be continuing unabated,” as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps IRCG) remains a key tool of Iran’s foreign policy and directs the foreign terror operations.
Iran also continues to develop its capabilities to control the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial oil-shipping route, and prepares to shut it down in an event of a war, as it is “quietly fielding increasingly lethal weapon systems, including more advanced naval mines, small but capable submarines, armed unmanned aerial vehicles, coastal defense cruise missile batteries, attack craft, and anti-ship-capable missiles,” the Pentagon said.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday that while he had not seen the Pentagon report, the potential military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program are “one thing we have indicated would need to be resolved” in any accord with Iran. He also said that even successful negotiations on nuclear issues wouldn’t resolve all the US concerns about Iran’s actions.
Iran’s Military Build-Up Not A Secret
Iran, on its part, has been very open about its military build-up and has conducted several-large scale military drills that simulated war with the US.
In an interview on Iranian TV in May, Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami threatened the Americans, saying: “We welcome war with the Americans.”
The US aircraft carriers would be destroyed, its air bases in the region burned and the skies set ablaze, he said. “We have built our strength for the purpose of long, extended wars… more than for the purpose of peace, compromise, and dialogue with them,” Salami stressed.
This latest report follows a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from last Friday which revealed that Tehran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel increased by about 20 percent during the last 18 months of negotiations.
This disclosure challenges the Obama administration’s contention that the Iranian program had been “frozen” during that period.