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“One can infer from the descriptions, some design characteristics of parts for making implosion plutonium weapons and two-stage atomic weapons,” Mr. Pry said. “The latter is a design far more sophisticated than the Hiroshima bomb that could have a much higher yield and possibly produce an explosion 50 times greater than Hiroshima.”

Fritz Ermarth, who served in the CIA and as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, reviewed the imagery. “[T]his imagery strongly suggests that Iran is working on what we used to call an ‘objective force.’ That is the objective of a deployed force of nuclear weapons on mobile missiles, normally based in deep underground sites for survivability against even nuclear attack, capable of rapid deployment,” he said.

Ambassador Henry Cooper, former director of the Strategic Defense Initiative and chief negotiator on nuclear and space treaties with the Soviet Union, said, “Most notable is the fact that Iran has already demonstrated its ability to launch satellites into low earth orbit. When they also gain confidence in their nuclear weapons, they can then use those launchers to place nuclear weapons in earth orbit and detonate them over wherever they wish, creating an electromagnetic pulse that could level its strategic playing field with all of Western civilization. This is perhaps their ultimate asymmetric weapon.”

The regime’s strategists have long thought that the West fears another major conflict in the Middle East and has no option but to accept a nuclear-armed Iran.

Negotiations and sanctions will not divert the regime from its pursuit of the nuclear bomb. A policy of containment and relying on mutually assured destruction will be an even more destructive policy. A nuclear-armed Iran will create a nightmare of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and world peace and the global economy will become hostage to the radicals who rule Iran and their proxy terrorists.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010).