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Iran could spark terrifying nuclear world war ‘in the blink of an eye’ – West must strike NOW, warns ex-US ambassador

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IRAN could create a nuclear weapon “in the blink of an eye” and the West must not fear striking its facilities, a former US ambassador warned.

Mark Wallace told The Sun that as the world plunges ever-closer to a global catastrophe – the West “has lost the plot” on reining in the pariah state.

Mark Wallace warned that the Iranian regime is terrifying close to getting it hands of a nuke

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Mark Wallace warned that the Iranian regime is terrifying close to getting it hands of a nukeCredit: Getty
Iranian protesters burning the American and British flags after the countries launched strikes against Houthi rebel targets in Yemen

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Iranian protesters burning the American and British flags after the countries launched strikes against Houthi rebel targets in YemenCredit: AFP
A nuclear-armed Iran will propel the world closer to the brink of WW3, experts warn

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A nuclear-armed Iran will propel the world closer to the brink of WW3, experts warnCredit: Alamy

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In a sobering assessment, Wallace, a former US ambassador to the UN and CEO of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), said the world needs to wake up to fact that Iran has its claws dangerously near a nuclear weapon.

“UANI was founded on a first principle – that the number one state sponsor of terrorism, the most egregious and destabilising actor on the world stage could never get a nuclear weapon.

“Because the consequence of that would be too great.

“Iran is hellbent on developing a nuclear weapon and it sees that it’s not being checked in any way.”

He added: “It could happen in merely a blink of an eye”.

Observers have long accused Iran of aggressively growing its uranium stockpile in breach of the 2015 nuclear deal that aimed to curb the Tehran’s nuke programme in exchange for a softening international sanctions.

The pact began to unravel when former US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned it in 2018 and reimposed sanctions – and Iran retaliated by ramping up its nefarious activities.

Iran denies that it is trying to create nuclear weapon, but Wallace argued that Iran’s nuclear programme has “no other purpose” than the production of a nuke.

And the facts don’t lie. 

Only this month, former UN weapons inspector, David Albright, warned that Iran has enough weapons-grade uranium to make six nuclear bombs in one month.

In a report for the Institute for Science and International Security, he said that Iran would “only need about a week” to produce its first nuclear weapon.”

His warning came soon after the UN’s nuclear watchdog announced Iran had increased its production rate of highly-enriched uranium up to 60 per cent.

Modern nukes require uranium to be enriched up to 90 per cent – a feat that the International Energy Authority (IAEA) said could happen very quickly.

The next action we will see is Iran breaking out militarily with a nuclear weapon

Mark Wallace, former US ambassador

The discovery was condemned by the US, Britain, France and Germany – but no country made any mention of the consequences Iran would face for the production increase.

But alarms had already been blaring last year when the IAEA found uranium particles enriched by up to 83.7 per cent in Iran’s secret underground nuke site, Fordo.

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei's terror chiefs have warned they are 'not afraid of war'

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Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s terror chiefs have warned they are ‘not afraid of war’Credit: Getty

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A 2020 satellite image showing the construction of Iran's secret underground Fordo nuclear facility

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A 2020 satellite image showing the construction of Iran’s secret underground Fordo nuclear facilityCredit: AP
A rare glimpse inside the Fordo Uranium Conversion Facility in Qom, north Iran

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A rare glimpse inside the Fordo Uranium Conversion Facility in Qom, north IranCredit: AFP
Inside Iran's largest nuclear facility in Natanz - where it is believed highly-enriched, weapons-grade uranium is being produced

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Inside Iran’s largest nuclear facility in Natanz – where it is believed highly-enriched, weapons-grade uranium is being producedCredit: Reuters

‘Lost the plot’

Former ambassador Wallace warned that the most important thing to know is that “Iran is not interested in a nuclear deal.” 

He said: “I am very concerned that policy leaders around the world do not understand the Iranians.

“The assessment of any responsible intelligence community right now is that we have lost the importance and the effectiveness of deterrence because we have no deterrence.  

“Every time Iran acts and the United States fails to respond – that is dangerous. Iran will keep pushing back.”

Wallace continued: “Whether it be at home or in commerce abroad, we have lost the plot on Iran.

“Do you think that Iran fears that we’re going to somehow engage in a broader strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities? I don’t think that they feel threatened in any way.”

The US has been gearing up to launch revenge strikes following an Iran-backed militia’s deadly drone attack on a US base near the Jordan-Syria border last Sunday that killed three troops and injured dozens more.

It was the first time American troops had been killed by enemy fire in the Middle East since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war that has spread chaos through the region.

On Thursday, reports were leaked that Washington had finalised its plans for multi-day retaliatory strikes on Iranian personnel and targets inside Iraq and Syria.

And on Friday evening, the US did target Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force and linked militia groups by striking targets in Syria and Iraq.

Officials said the American missile strikes had hit more than 85 targets, including “command and control headquarters” and ammo dumps.

US President Joe Biden warned: “Let all those who might seek to do us harm know this: If you harm an American, we will respond.”

But prior to the leak, Tehran issued a chilling warning that they are “not afraid” of war.

The head of the IRGC, Maj Gen Hossein Salami raged: “We do not leave any threat unanswered, and we do not look for war, but we are not afraid of it.”

Wallace argues that Iran has crossed America’s “red line” by killing its troops and that this is the decisive moment in the Middle East crisis.

He has been advocating for “targeted, but decisive” strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities as well as the headquarters and bases of Iran’s feared terrorist army, the Islamist Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

“From these sites, the IRGC has been able to enable and train its proxies to carry out barbaric attacks across the region in Israel, Iraq, Syria and the Red Sea,” he said.

“If we don’t make a clear message of deterrence, like the destruction of military targets, the next action that we will see is Iran breaking out militarily with a nuclear weapon.”

A satellite view of the US military outpost known as Tower 22, in Rukban, Jordan that was hit on January 28

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A satellite view of the US military outpost known as Tower 22, in Rukban, Jordan that was hit on January 28
Iran's terror-wing, the IRGC, are said to be behind the support, training, and equipping of the regime's terror proxy's across Middle East

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Iran’s terror-wing, the IRGC, are said to be behind the support, training, and equipping of the regime’s terror proxy’s across Middle East

Fearful developments

Sir Ivor Roberts, former head of UK’s counter-terrorism told The Sun that he sees no signs of Iran slowing down in their attempts to build a nuke.

“The economic pressures on the regime are nowhere near punitive enough to make them think again,” he said.

In recent years, “their capability has dramatically increased.” 

Roberts, who is also a senior adviser to UANI and the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), explained that sanctions haven’t worked, the nuclear deal is falling apart, and Iran’s oil exports are booming at a rate of 2.1million barrels a day.

He is not hopeful that the West will be able to restrain Iran. “I think it would require measures that would cripple their ability to develop nuclear weapons.

“And any sanctions relief should be tried to Iran renouncing the sponsorship of terrorism in the region and even indeed worldwide.

“I don’t sense the likelihood of that happening at the moment.” 

While Roberts believes that Western nations would do everything in their power to stop Iran “delivering” a nuclear weapon (getting it to the point of detonation), he sees Iran “developing” a nuclear weapon as a far more likely scenario.

If or when this happens, he argued that Israel would see a nuclear-armed Iran as an  “existential threat” to its survival.

“If you’ve got a country in your neighbourhood that says they want to eliminate you altogether and they have a nuclear weapon at their disposal, that’s what I call an existential threat without any question of exaggeration.

“And I think at that stage there would be a very real risk of a major war between Iran and Israel and potentially between Iran and the United States.” 

A future with a nuclear-armed Iran?

Jason Brodsky, the Policy Director of UANI, agrees that a nuclear-armed Iran would have world-shaking consequences.

If Iran were to have a nuclear weapon, he believes that firstly the regime would feel “emboldened under the ‘protection’ of a nuclear umbrella to deter any Israeli strike on Iranian soil”.

And with that so-called protection, “it would further empower the regime to try to dominate the region and that would be very devastating.”

He said: “We are seeing in real time the convergence of the multi-theatre conflict that the Iranian strategists have long envisioned against Israel.

“It’s been unprecedented in the convergence and emergence of all of the fronts.

“Hezbollah in Lebanon is firing rockets and drones at Israel, Iranian militias are hitting US forces in Iraq and Syria and launching attacks at Israel itself.

“The Houthis are shutting down international commerce in the critical global choke hold of the Bab el-Mandeb.”

So, he argued, Iran’s current efforts to destabilise the Middle East through its array of terror-waging proxies “underscores how dangerous the Islamic Republic regime would be with a nuclear weapon”.

Until now, he said that Iran’s tactic is to rely on its proxies to do their dirty work because the regime does not want to sacrifice its own forces. 

However, with a nuke in their arsenal, Iran may prepare their “risk readiness” for a major war.

Brodsky criticised the Biden administration’s approach to Iran as being “defined by a fear of escalation”.

Since 2021, he argued the lack of consequential action by the US has only “emboldened the regime to further test and push red lines.”

He said: “Tehran knows that the US has the capability of taking out its entire nuclear program, but it doubts we have the will to do so.

“But the restraint is actually making a war more likely rather than less likely.”

Brodsky, along with former ambassador Wallace, advocates for targeted strikes on IRGC targets as a means to prove the US is serious about deterring Iran’s nuclear programme.

“It would demonstrate we have a will to strike inside Iran,” he said.

The US accused an Iran-backed militia of being behind the attack on a US base in Jordan that killed three troops and injured dozens more

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The US accused an Iran-backed militia of being behind the attack on a US base in Jordan that killed three troops and injured dozens moreCredit: Getty
IRGC head General Salami said this week that no threat made against Iran 'would go unanswered'

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IRGC head General Salami said this week that no threat made against Iran ‘would go unanswered’

Deal or no deal – What was the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and what’s happened to it?

BROKERED by the Obama White House and signed by seven world powers, the Iran nuclear deal aimed to dramatically reduce the country’s ability to produce nuclear weapons.

However, former US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018 – branding it “horrible” and “one-sided”.

Iran immediately pledged to breach the agreement until it receives the sanctions relief it says it is owed.

The now-unravelling deal was an agreement between the Islamic Republic and a group of world powers aimed at scrapping the pariah state’s nuclear weapons programme.

It saw Iran agree to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium by 98 per cent.

Enriched uranium is a critical component for making nuclear weapons and curbing the amount Iran produces is the essential way to prevent Iran producing nuclear weapons.

As part of the agreement, Iran also agreed to only enrich their uranium up to 3.67 per cent over the next 15 years and they agreed to reduce their gas centrifuges for 13 years.

Gas centrifuges are used to separate different types of uranium which allows specific types to then be used to manufacture nuclear weapons or generators.

Also under the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was granted regular access to all Iranian nuclear facilities to ensure Iran maintains the deal.

If Iran abided by the deal it was promised relief from the US, EU, and the UN’s Security Council on all nuclear-related economic sanctions.

The agreement was reached In July 2015 and major world powers signed it in Vienna.

Former US ambassador Mark Wallace is urging the US to take decisive and consequential action against Iran

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Former US ambassador Mark Wallace is urging the US to take decisive and consequential action against Iran

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