Saturday, October 02, 2004
Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged his country's weapons developers to step up work on making a nuclear bomb, a U.S. official said, according to Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.
According to the official, an authoritative source in the Iranian exile community has stated that Khamenei met recently with senior government and military leaders on the nuclear weapons program.
Khamenei told the gathering, "We must have two bombs ready to go in January or you are not Muslims," the official said.
Jafari-Jalali, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Majles, stated in an Iranian press interview last week that the recent International Atomic Energy Agency resolution calling on Iran to halt uranium enrichment could lead to Tehran withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Iran's military announced earlier this month that it would test-fire a "strategic" missile during the Ashura 5 military exercises of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami announced the missile test on Sept. 18. 'The climax of this stage of the exercises is the actual missile operations and the testing of a series of missiles with different ranges," he said.
Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said earlier this month that "given that an effective deterrent policy does not halt at a certain point, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues upgrading its defensive capability."
"Shamkhani said Iran has acquired an effective deterrent power to confront its enemies in the region.
Iran test-fired a Shihab-3 on Sept. 18 and had also tested one in August.
Meanwhile, British intelligence, working with Iraqi security, has uncovered a cell within the
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that is working to destabilize Iraq.
The Iranians had paid insurgents to conduct attacks in southern Iraq.
"I don't think there's any doubt that the Iranians are involved and are providing support" to the Iraqi insurgents, Secretary of State Colin Powell said last week."