In recent days, the Biden administration’s top defense policy official told Congress that it would take the Islamic Republic “about 12 days” to produce enough fissile material for a single nuclear bomb. This doesn’t mean they’ll have a bomb next week - there are other technological advancements that are required in order to put a nuke on the tip of a missile - but needless to say, this news is not good. In today’s Action Update, we delve into three storylines that inform this new and frightening information.

Russia-Iran Secret Nuke Deal

When the Iran nuclear deal was agreed upon, one abysmal element was that Russia was to hold onto Iran’s enriched uranium in order to control, theoretically, the Islamic Republic’s access to such. Spoiler alert: this was not a good idea. In fact, Western intelligence sources told Fox News that Moscow and Tehran have a related secret side deal on this matter.

The crux of the backroom agreement was that Russia would return the fissile material to Iran should the nuclear deal fall apart. In other words, Iran and Russia are now prepared to work together to maximize the likelihood that Iran will acquire a nuclear weapons capability.

At the end of the day, Iran was going to push forward with such a capability no matter what political agreements it made with the U.S. and Europeans. But this latest news shows both how close the two of the world’s most evil regimes have become, and how foolish it was to allow Russia to serve as an integral part of any agreement with Iran. In a nutshell, we’re concerned about this but we’re not surprised.

U.S. – Israel on the Same Page

Somewhat more surprising (and positive) is the news this week that Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, told a conference on Sunday that Washington’s and Jerusalem’s positions concerning Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons are closer than ever before.

According to Herzog, “We both agree that Iran is destabilizing the region and we have to push back against them. The American strategy focused for many years on reaching a deal with Iran, but today that deal is off the table.”

Herzog also discussed the current state of the Iranian protest movement, noting, “What we see in Iran today is a defining moment. We see the foundations of the Islamic Republic shaking. The regime has lost the people and we have to factor this into our strategic thinking on Iran.” But more on that in a minute.

Confronting the Threat

Herzog’s comments come on the heels of the U.S. and Israel completing “one of their most tactically involved joint exercises ever.” According to Newsweek, during the last half of February, Israeli and American troops practiced “fighting alongside one another at a time when both sides faced heightened risks from insurgent groups in the Middle East,” during an exercise dubbed Intrepid Maven.

In addition to military exercises with Israel, the U.S. is also planning an anti-drone exercise with Saudi Arabia – which, like Israel, is deeply concerned about the Iranian threat. Given Iran’s direct attacks on Saudi facilities, it is natural and wise for Riyadh and Washington to ensure that they can confront Iran’s suicide drones (the same ones being used by Russia to obliterate Ukrainian civilians).

In a recent Action Update, we concluded by noting that if one wants peace, they must prepare for war. We do not advocate for an American or Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities (we’re humble enough to admit that we don’t know what we don’t know and will thus leave that decision to military planners and political decision makers). But we are pleased to see that the latest moves from the Biden administration indicate that they are beginning to understand what Israel, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E and numerous national security officials have been saying for nearly a decade: only a credible military threat will impact Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Taken together, all of this information, including Herzog’s comment about the Iranian protest movement, leave us with one simple yet vital question: Will Iran acquire a nuclear weapon before the Iranian people can overthrow the regime?

We don’t know the answer, but our role in this effort is clear. We will be backing legislation, such as the Stop Iranian Drones Act, which targets Iran both diplomatically and economically.  We will play our part in working to ensure that Iran’s support for terrorism, empowerment of mass murders, domestic repression, and nuclear weapons advances are confronted with American pressure in all its forms.


The CUFI Action Fund Team


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