JERUSALEM – As senior members of the International Atomic Energy Commission acknowledged that Iran’s nuclear program has a military component, the German newspaper Welt Am Sonntag (World on Sunday) revealed that Western intelligence agencies believe the Iranian regime authorized North Korea to conduct a secret test of a nuclear weapon some time during 2010.
Hans Ruhle, a former German Defense Ministry official, told the newspaper that intelligence experts pored over information supplied by a Swedish nuclear physicist who had monitored North Korea’s nuclear tests.
If the reports are accurate, North Korea, which also supplied Iran with the technology to build the Shihab intercontinental ballistic missile, is playing a direct role in helping Tehran create the infrastructure to assemble nuclear warheads that can be mounted on missiles aimed at Israel, American military bases in the Persian Gulf and pro-Western oil sheikhdoms in the Middle East.
Ruhle maintained that for the moment Iran still lacks an independent capability to build its own nuclear weapon.
Last month, in an article he wrote for Welt Am Sonntag, Ruhle disputed the notion that the Israeli Air Force was incapable of knocking out Iranian nuclear facilities, claiming Israel could “easily” destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Meanwhile, Israel’s secret submarine program is proceeding at an accelerated pace at the Thyssen Shipyards in Emden and Kiel, Germany.
Two Super Dolphin submarines, reportedly equipped with highly long-range silent propulsion and cruise missile technologies, are being protected by dozens of German naval guards and are nearly ready for deployment to the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. Israel’s growing submarine fleet is being positioned for second-strike capabilities should Iranian mount a ballistic attack on Israel.