On Monday, Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported that part of Ukraine's Soviet-era nuclear arsenal may well have found its way to Iran. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainians agreed to transfer the Soviet nuclear arsenal that remained in Ukraine after its independence to Russia. According to Novaya Gazeta, some 250 nuclear warheads never made it to Russia and are thought to have been sent to Iran instead. The report further noted that the warheads will remain operational until 2010.
Responding to the report, Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, Russia's deputy defense minister and the chief of General Staff said, "Russia's General Staff has no information about whether Ukraine has given 250 nuclear warheads to Iran or not."
It is impossible to assess the accuracy of the report. The Ukrainian government has dismissed its allegations. Russia may well have invented the story to shift media attention away from the growing awareness that Russian support for Teheran, Damascus and Hamas effectively places it in the enemy camp in the US-led war against global jihad.
But whether this particular report is true or false, there is no doubt that the danger to Israel and the rest of the Western world emanating from Iran and its allies is growing by the day. In recent testimony before the US Congress, John Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence, said that the danger that Teheran "will acquire a nuclear weapon and the ability to integrate it with ballistic missiles that Iran already possesses" is a cause "for immediate concern."
Also this week, as the Web site Regimechangeiran noted, the American Foreign Policy Council published a report quoting Western intelligence sources asserting that Iran is in the process of assembling intermediate range ballistic missiles with a range of 4,500 km. The extended range will enable Iran to hit almost all of Western Europe with nuclear warheads. The sources further maintained that Iran is already in possession of at least one nuclear bomb.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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