In his first reaction to the new National Intelligence Estimate by the US intelligence community on Iran’s nuclear program, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today told a gathering of Iranian expatriates gathered in Kish Island that the US’s enmity is not with an Iranian nuclear bomb, but with the country’s rising Iranian identity.
“A country that possesses more than five thousands of the fourth and fifth generation [nuclear] bombs is not afraid of one single [nuclear] bomb of the first generation that according to their claims could be built here in the next few years,” Ahmadinejad said. “They are not afraid of [the bomb]. They are scared of the reemergence of the Iranian spirit and the Iranian identity” [IRNA, 19 February].
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that a newly completed NIE had said that Iran’s research program on nuclear weapons had resumed and that the country could re-launch its weapons program if the country’s senior leadership so decided.