(see first link below) is reporting that Iran has “successfully simulated the detonation of a nuclear warhead in laboratory conditions in an effort to sidestep an underground nuclear test.” Debka credits the German BND Intelligence Agency with this discovery. An underground nuclear test would be impossible to hide so the Iranians apparently tried to conceal their ability to detonate a nuclear weapon by testing their “nuke” in a lab simulation. The report states that “this development is alarming because detonation is one of the most difficult technological challenges in the development of nuclear weapons.” German sources reportedly expect than Iran will have at least one nuclear weapon in “no more than a year.” Other intelligence sources have estimated that Iran may have nuclear weapons even earlier than that.

Iran also “stiffed” the world community’s demand that Iran halt its uranium enrichment program. Iran has long maintained that its nuclear program is “peaceful,” but Iran showed its true colors by announcing that it will build “ten new nuclear enrichment sites” (see second link below). Presumably, these new sites will be hidden deep underground like the one discovered near Qom, Iran under a mountain. My personal opinion is that these ten “new” nuclear enrichment sites have already been in operation for some time (like the one at Qom), and Iran realizes those other sites have also been discovered and it is simply trying to “save face” by declaring them to be “new” facilities. A blog at this website earlier this year reported that British Intelligence had discovered five previously-unknown and concealed Iranian nuclear facilities in addition to the one at Qom. Interestingly, Iran acknowledged five “new” sites will begin enriching uranium and five more are to be implemented as well. I expect that all of these ten additional nuclear sites have been built deep underneath Iranian mountains to make them all but invulnerable to any conventional weapons attack. It now appears that the above-ground Iranian nuclear facility at Netanz is mostly a decoy plant and that the really advanced nuclear weapons plants are all located deep underground (as was North Korea’s nuclear plant that surprised the world).  Iran is well-aware of the successful Israeli attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor years ago so Iran had to expect a similar attack. It would make sense for Iranian planners to build the really important nuclear plants underground and build some decoy plants above-ground to keep western intelligence agencies misdirected.

If Iran has successfully simulated a nuclear warhead detonation in a lab and it has many secret nuclear facilities underground building its nuclear weapons, the West really doesn’t have a good idea about how soon Iran will have the ability to launch nuclear warheads at its enemies. The photo accompanying the first link shows Iran’s leader inspecting a “nuclear-capable missile,” which argues that Iran already has the ability to deliver its nuke as soon as it has a nuclear warhead which can be fitted to this missile.

It is clear that diplomacy will not stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It is evident to me that Iran never intended to respond to any diplomatic effort to limit its nuclear weapons program. It has simply been stonewalling and duping the West’s diplomats into believing that there was a chance that diplomacy might accomplish something. Iran’s leader has threatened to “wipe Israel off the map,” and it is building the weapons to do exactly that. The Israelis do not have the luxury of waiting to see how long Iran will need to have deliverable nuclear weapons. In their own legitimate self-interest, the Israelis have little choice but to take Iran’s threats seriously and take military action to protect themselves well before they expect Iran to have nukes. Even Israeli intelligence may underestimate Iran’s nuclear program so they have to allow a margin for error in their attack plans. Will Iran succeed in “wiping Israel off the map?” We can confidently be assured the answer is “no.” Iran has a far more powerful enemy that the Israelis or the Americans. The One who can “wipe Iran off the map” sits on his throne as the Creator of the Universe, and he told us his position on this modern issue in Zechariah 12:3 long ago.

We’re getting closer to crunch time, folks. If a large Mideast/Persian Gulf War erupts as a result of an attack against Iranian nuclear facilities, it could quickly make Obama’s Afghan War look like a mere skirmish. While the U.S. Air Force and Navy remain potent, the supply of available American ground troops will be pretty much dried up if Obama sends even more war-weary troops to Afghanistan. Maybe that is why Obama had to wait so long in making up his mind to send more troops to Afghanistan. Maybe there is a serious possibility they will be needed in the Persian Gulf before too long.