Washington’s nuclear deal with Tehran depends on aggressive inspections inside Iran. But the mullahs may well have a secret program outside their borders.
In October 2012, Iran began stationing personnel at a military base in North Korea, in a mountainous area close to the Chinese border. The Iranians, from the Ministry of Defense and associated firms, reportedly are working on both missiles and nuclear weapons. Ahmed Vahidi, Tehran’s minister of defense at the time, denied sending people to the North, but the unconfirmed dispatches make sense in light of the two states announcing a technical cooperation pact the preceding month.
Beijing proved masterful at enabling Pyongyang to expand its program, and did the same for Pakistan. Now it’s Tehran’s turn.
Chinese leaders say their nation “has always adopted a serious and responsible attitude toward preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons”—but that is far from the truth. Beijing has proven masterful at procuring time for nuclearizing rogues, having protected North Korea during negotiations about its atomic program, known as the Six-Party Talks, which China has sponsored since August 2003. During those fruitless negotiations, the Kim regime first stalled, then lied, and finally crowed—when it detonated its first atomic device, in October 2006. Since then, there have been two subsequent tests, in May 2009 and, more recently, this past February. Continue reading