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30.11.2021 Author: Vladimir Odintsov

Who Can Make an Atom Bomb Faster? Iran or Japan?


Tensions over the proliferation of nuclear weapons have recently increased significantly amid problems with the nuclear deal with Iran, of which one of the signatories to it, the United States, withdrew on the initiative of ex-President Donald Trump in 2018, and the current White House administration has so far unsuccessfully tried to restore it, but on new terms. It should be recalled that the nuclear agreement with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan, was concluded in 2015 during the Barack Obama administration. Besides Iran and the USA, the agreement was signed by Great Britain, France, Germany, the EU, Russia and China.

Recently, tensions over the proliferation of nuclear weapons have risen again, largely due to the rhetoric of some leaders hinting at a return to the era of nuclear buildup around the world, which has already sparked fears about Iran’s nuclear stockpile. Israel has become an active initiator in this regard: without advertising its own nuclear reserves and without signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons approved by the UN General Assembly Resolution 2373 (XXII) of June 12, 1968, it is, in its regional counteraction against Iran, actively trying to involve in it both Washington and several other Western powers.

It seems that the world is very far from “coming to its senses”, given that millions of kilotons are currently in service in various countries around the world. Among them, nuclear states possess approximately 15 thousand warheads, the majority of which belong to the United States and Russia. According to experts from the Arms Control Association, less than 10 thousand of them are in service, while the rest are awaiting dismantling.

Only five states possessing nuclear weapons are recognized in the world: China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States. They are officially recognized as such by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force in 1970. This Treaty recognizes and legitimizes their nuclear arsenals, but they should not strengthen or maintain them permanently. In fact, on the contrary, they committed themselves to eliminating nuclear weapons.

There are four countries unofficially possessing nuclear weapons: Pakistan, India, Israel and South Korea These countries have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and together they have approximately 340 such weapons.

Against this background, various international platforms and media are actively discussing Iran today, in respect of which Israel and the United States are taking active measures to prevent its possession of nuclear weapons.

Iran began developing its own nuclear energy in the 1950s during the reign of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (1941-1979), a staunch US ally in the Middle East at that time. US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, within the framework of the Atoms for Peace program, at the supported this initiative by signing an agreement with Iran on the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy in 1957. In accordance with this document, Washington undertook to supply Iran with nuclear installations and equipment and train specialists. The first low-power reactor was delivered to the United States to the nuclear research center of Tehran University in 1959.

An increasing number of American politicians and the media engaged in Tel Aviv have been lately involved in the excitement raised by Israel over Iran’s nuclear program, which in the official statements of the Iranian authorities has repeatedly stated that it does not intend to develop nuclear weapons. Several sources reported at once that Iran was very close to the creation of a nuclear charge. “Iran needs about a month to get enough material to make one nuclear charge,” The New York Times recently wrote. According to experts, about 15-20 kg of weapons-grade uranium are necessary to create a uranium bomb. As stated in the joint statement of the foreign ministries of Great Britain, France and Germany, circulated recently, the volume of nuclear materials currently possessed by Iran after their additional enrichment will be enough to create more than one nuclear charge.

Against this background, as well as amidst the ongoing measures to restore the nuclear deal with Iran and the active information attacks by Israel (with a number of Tel Aviv-oriented American politicians) on Tehran’s nuclear program, it is quite remarkable how these anti-Iranian political forces completely ignore the already significant nuclear reserves sufficient for the production of atomic bombs by other “unofficial” nuclear powers.

In this regard, it is enough to look at Japan, which is the most serious military ally of the United States in Southeast Asia.

As you know, after the defeat in World War II, the new Japan was forced to abandon any development of nuclear weapons. Although there is no official information about the presence of nuclear weapons in Japan, which is a distinguishing feature of a truly strong military machine, nevertheless, according to the conclusion of many experts, this country needs very little time to create them. Moreover, today Japan has the necessary scientific and technical potential, as well as a significant amount of fissile radioactive material.

Thus, according to the Chinese Internet portal Sohu, Tokyo has a stock of already processed nuclear raw materials for 6,000 nuclear devices (!). For several years, Japan hid this from both its allies in the United States and from other countries. It should be noted that this number is the level of Russia and the United States, which have, according to the estimates of competent experts, 7000 and 6800 of them, respectively, while France has 300, China – 270, North Korea, according to various estimates, from 10 to 60. Meanwhile, Iran only has one nuclear device!

At the same time, the Sohu portal also indicates that for several years Tokyo, within the framework of its nuclear energy, has enriched and processed raw materials to a level that allows them to create weapons. With no criticism from today’s Iranian opponents. Although the Chinese exposing material does not name specific volumes, these could be several dozens of tons, at least.

As for the means of delivery of nuclear weapons, one must not forget that Japan is a leading space power, its spacecraft landed on an asteroid and delivered matter from there to Earth, and its launch vehicles are exceptionally reliable.

Hence, a natural question arises: who is really orchestrating the campaign to punish Iran for its nuclear program, while an active US ally under the former’s cover has already accumulated a world-destroying potential of raw materials for several thousand atomic bombs?  Isn’t the anti-Iranian information campaign of the United States and Israel a cover for Japan to secretly create its own nuclear potential without appropriate control by the world community?

Vladimir Odintsov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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