September 7, 2005
The government has refused to make a deal with the European Union (EU) that will halt the Iranian nuclear weapons development program. The government is calling the Europeans bluff, believing that the EU will eventually fold, and revive economic ties with Iran (including the sale of weapons and military technology.) It's believed that Iran could master the technology for building nuclear weapons in five years, or less. Nuclear weapons technology is believed to still be available on the black market, from North Korean and Pakistani sources. If some of this stuff was obtained by Iran, nuclear weapons could be had in as little as two or three years (with another year or two required to build reliable ones for combat use). Meanwhile, Iran is building better relations with India, to provide a trading partner in case things go south with the EU. However, the Iranians believe that the EU's threats are empty and that EU attempts to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons will quietly fade away.