Uranium enrichment machines in an underground Iranian nuclear facility. Undated

US Labels Iran, North Korea As Persistent WMD 'Threats'

Saturday, 09/30/2023

The US Department of Defense in its recently published Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction characterized Iran and North Korea as "persistent threats."

The Pentagon's report stated, “North Korea, Iran, and violent extremist organizations remain persistent threats as they continue to further pursue and develop WMD.”

Regarding Iran, the report indicated, “It is assessed that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons program at this time but has the capacity to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear device in less than two weeks.”

Additionally, the report acknowledged Russia as an "acute threat" and identified China as a "pacing challenge."

“The PRC (People's Republic of China) has expanded and modernized nearly every aspect of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with a focus on offsetting US military advantages,” added the report.

Additionally, it emphasized that China presents the "most comprehensive and urgent challenge" to the United States.

Regarding Russia, the report noted, "Russia poses the most acute nuclear, biological, and chemical threat in the near-term and will continue to retain WMD capabilities in the medium and long term."

The document expressed concerns about Russia's lack of transparency concerning its former Soviet program and its continued secrecy surrounding potentially dual-use biological research.

In the section on North Korea, the report mentioned, “Capability developments provide the DPRK with options for nuclear weapons use at any stage of conflict.”

The Islamic Republic claims it is not pursuing the development of nuclear weapons, but Western countries and Israel say that Iran's nuclear program, especially the enrichment of 60% uranium and the production of metallic uranium in Iran, has no connection to peaceful nuclear knowledge applications.

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