Long history of failed predictions of Irans pending nuclear weapon status
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Myth 5: Iran is on the brink of producing a nuclear weapon.
US, Israeli, and other western intelligence agencies have been predicting an imminent Iranian nuclear bomb since 1979. A Christian Science Monitor article summarizes the lengthy history of these assessments:
Breathless predictions that the Islamic Republic will soon be at the brink of nuclear capability, or—worse—acquire an actual nuclear bomb, are not new. For more than a quarter of a century Western officials have claimed repeatedly that Iran is close to joining the nuclear club. Such a result is always declared ‘unacceptable’ and a possible reason for military action, with ‘all options on the table’ to prevent upsetting the Mideast strategic balance dominated by the U.S. and Israel. And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone.19
This long and inconvenient trail of errant predictions is not likely to persuade those who are absolutely convinced Iran is bent on acquiring nuclear weapons. After all, in Aesop’s fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf, the wolf is real and it does attack the shepherd’s flock. However, equally plausible explanations for the fact that Iran has thus far failed to acquire a nuclear weapons capability include: (a) Iran has no intent of doing so; or (b) existing policies, sanctions, and other activities including sus- pected covert operations (assassinating Iranian scientists and infecting Iran’s nuclear facilities with computer viruses) have effectively deterred, delayed, or prevented Iran from producing a nuclear weapon.
Iran's long history of trying and failing to develop a working nuclear program, let alone a nuclear weapon, underly the deep structural challenges that they face. Corruption and mismanagement plague their large infrastructural projects and have kept them 10-15 years behind most analysts estimates.