Israel has possessed a nuclear weapons capability since the late 1960s, and remains outside of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) - an international treaty obligation that would place all civilian facilities under the purview of international monitoring and safeguards, and force the abandonment of existing nuclear weapons programmes in return for various security guarantees. Iran most certainly does NOT possess a current nuclear weapons capability. It is a signatory to the NPT and is subjected to - despite some reluctance - international verification and safeguards standards by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a way that Israel is not. Iran has categorically and emphatically stated that it has no intention of acquiring a nuclear weapons capability yet Western intelligence, including that by the UN nuclear watchdog contended that it does. Iran is under greater scrutiny for nuclear weapons development than Israel has been for actually possessing an undeclared and uninspected nuclear arsenal for over 40 years.
Several years ago, the UK had a Kelly who exposed the false claims that Iraq possessed WMDs . Today another Kelly is reported in the Guardian throwing doubts upon Iran's supposed WMD potential. Robert Kelley, a former US weapons scientists who ran the IAEA action team on Iraq at the time of the US-led invasion, said there were worrying parallels between the west's mistakes over Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction then and the IAEA's assessment of Iran now. "What we learned back in 2002 and 2003, when we were in the runup to the war, was that peer review was very important, and that the analysis should not be left to a small group of people," Kelley said. "So what have we learned since then? Absolutely nothing. Just like [former US vice-president] Dick Cheney, Amano is relying on a very small group of people and those opinions are not being checked."
Kelley argues that with war and peace in the balance, as well as the IAEA's credibility, anything it publishes must be thoroughly verified. In particular, he questions the agency's focus on a bus-sized steel vessel supposedly installed in an Iranian military site at Parchin in 2000, which the November report said was for "hydrodynamic experiments" – testing shaped, high-explosive arrays used to implode the spherical fissile core of a warhead and start a chain reaction. Kelley disputes the agency's logic.
"You don't do hydrodynamic testing of nuclear bombs in containers," he said. "All of such tests would be done at outdoor firing sites, not in a building next to a major highway."
Kelley also says the suggestion in the November report that weapons experimentation could be continuing is based largely on a single document, which ElBaradei had rejected as dubious. In his memoir, The Age of Deception, ElBaradei talks about documents supplied in 2009 by Israel, the authenticity of which was questioned by the agency's experts.
Mark Hibbs, a nuclear expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "The election [of Amano IAEA's director] was extremely polarised and bitter." US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks which revealed Amano's assiduous courting of American support. In an October 2009 cable, the US charge d'affaires, Geoffrey Pyatt, wrote: "Amano reminded [the] ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77 [the developing countries group], which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program." In an earlier cable in July that year, the Americans recount discussions with Amano on the future of officials, particular in Expo [the agency's office of external relations and policy co-ordination], "some of whom have not always been helpful to US positions". Last year, the named officials were moved to other jobs, out of the inner core which drafts the quarterly reports, like the one on Iran in November.
No one knows for sure whether Iran is presently working to acquire the atomic bomb or not. But we're left with a situation similar to that faced by Saddam Hussein's Iraq: prove that you don't have what you claim you don't have! Iran's enemies and their threats of bomb the country are leaving it little room to manouver - either actually develop a nuclear weapons programme to protect the country from future attack or turn your peaceful intentions of acquiring nuclear energy into appearing something more sinister. If Iran is purposefully playing a diplomatic game of ambiguity, they are only following the the example of Israel's deliberate equivocation upon the existance of their nuclear deterrent.
The threat that the mullahs of a nuclear armed Iran would commit national suicide by firing missiles at Israel or the US is without credibility. SOYMB does not presently see any reason to doubt President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent statement when he explained "The Iranian nation is wise. It won't build two bombs against 20,000 [nuclear] bombs you have...".