The Jerusalem Post reported on 16 April 1998 that two US Congressmen say they believe reports published in the paper on 9 and 10 April 1998 that Iran has acquired nuclear weapons from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. The opinions of the congressmen contradict the views of the US State Department and Defense Department, which have dismissed the reports. Representative Jim Saxton (R-NJ), chariman of the House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, told the Jerusalem Post 'I believe that Iran already has nuclear weapons and that our policy should reflect that.' Representative Bill McCollum (R-FL), also a member of the task force, said that evidence collected by the group 'indicates Iran possesses nuclear capability.' He added that 'for years, we have received reliable information that Iran has been obtaining nuclear weapons's parts and supplies from the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Not only have we not dismissed these reports, but over these six years there has been a growing volume of supporting evidence.' The article also cited Israeli MP Rafi Ekul as saying that 'several leading members of the US military have believed that Iran managed to smuggle in several nuclear devices.' McCollum said that Iran's attempts to acquire ballistic missiles and its strategic command and control exercises also indicated that it possesses nuclear weapons. He concluded: 'Therefore I believe that prudence dictates that US policy toward Tehran must be based on the fact that Iran has already crossed the nuclear threshold.' The article also cited Ken Katzman, a senior Persian Gulf analyst at the US Congressional Research Service, as saying that he had never heard any member of Congress declare that Iran has nuclear weapons. Katzman also noted that no official from the US intelligence community has said in an open testimony to Congress that Iran has nuclear weapons. He added: 'I am convinced that if the intelligence community knew that Iran had an operational nuclear bomb it would have said this in testimony to Congress.'
Abstract Number: 19980180
Headline: Two US Congressmen Say Iran Has Nukes,
Date: 16 April 1998
Bibliography: Steve Rodan, Jerusalem Post, online edition, https://www.jpost.com, 16 April 1998
Author: Two US Congressmen Say Iran Has Nukes
Orig. Src.: Steve Rodan