Iran has acquired the knowledge and technology to create a nuclear bomb within months according to information leaked from a report by the United Nation’s atomic watchdog.
A report by the Washington Post on Sunday said Iran appears to have gotten key technical assistance from foreign experts according to the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The IAEA investigation will apparently detail a secret research program.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Akbar Salehi responded to the leak over the weekend and accused the IAEA of giving in to U.S. pressure to level accusations against Iran.
"The IAEA should not do things under pressure," said Salehi. "Iran’s nuclear issue is not a technical or legal issue. It’s a totally political case."
Western powers believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons through its civilian nuclear energy program. Iranian officials say they are enriching uranium only to power reactors for electricity generation. The U.S., the European Union and their allies have imposed economic sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program.
Facility is just 30km from Tehran
The report is due out in days but it’s already triggering concern, especially in Israel where there’s a debate over whether the government should unilaterally bomb the Iranian nuclear facility located just 30 kilometres from Tehran.
President Shimon Peres stirred up the debate over the weekend by saying that a military solution is closer now than ever.
However, a dozen former chiefs of defence staff in Israel and the recent director of the country’s spy agency, Mossad, Ephraim Halevy, have said they are opposed to that.
Joel Rubin, head of Project Ploughshares, an international organization dedicated to preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, says everyone should exercise caution.
"What the report does not do is provide a sort of smoking gun," Rubin told CBC News Network on Monday.
"It does not say that Iran has decided to make a nuclear weapon. It does not say that a nuclear weapon is imminent.. It does not create the Doomsday scenario that many are talking about."
Rubin said international sanctions have done a lot to slow down Iran’s nuclear program and Iran’s previous allies, Russia and China, have also joined that effort.
"The Iranian leadership is in a state of flux and chaos and that means diplomacy, not just talking but really trying to understand what is going on inside of the leadership’s decision-making is what is essential."