Iran is hiding its nuclear arms development. We know it. They know it. The only problem is, there is no solution other than military action to stop it. It has been mentioned several times here that hard diplomacy, smart power, or other cobbled together words pundits and advisors like to use do not and cannot work alone in today’s globalized, interconnected system.
However, power has grown more diffuse in recent years, and certainly American power is thoroughly occupied elsewhere. That isn’t to say we cannot splash around in the Persian Gulf, but will limited military strikes prevent Iran from eventually wheeling out their bomb? It is doubtful, and a full-scale military solution probably isn’t in the cards for the US.
Here is a secret; Iran knows this too.
Tehran knows becoming the latest nuclear armed nation will considerably increase it chances of survival. Tehran is more than happy with holding summits to buy more time.
Iran is exhibiting that the single, independent state is the consummate goal-seeker actor. For those who get off on game-theory and strategic game analysis, you will appreciate that point. Furthermore, it is practical realism that they do develop a nuclear weapon of their own. Additionally, it is in line with their Persian mind-set of regional dominance.
Iran is moving ahead with its nuclear program. The picture below, pulled from the Institute for Science and International Security, is one of five pieces of satellite imagery showing Iran in the middle of some house cleaning. The Iranians recently tore down buildings and buried the surrounding area at a suspected military complex used to test nuclear weapons and high explosives. The complex is in Parchin, roughly 20 miles southeast of Tehran -- a place they have forbidden IAEA inspectors from visiting.
The ISIS report suggests:
These activities raise further concerns of Iranian efforts to destroy evidence of alleged past nuclear weaponization activities. The IAEA has asked repeatedly to visit this site, but so far Iran has refused. In the May 25, 2012 IAEA safeguards report on Iran, the IAEA stated that “based on satellite imagery, at this location, where virtually no activity had been observed for a number of years, the buildings of interest to the Agency are now subject to extensive activities that could hamper the Agency’s ability to undertake effective verification.”