There is full awareness in Washington and Jerusalem that the North Korean nuclear test conducted Tuesday, Feb. 12, brings Iran that much closer to conducting a test of its own. A completed bomb or warhead is not necessary for an underground nuclear test; a device which an aircraft or missile can carry is enough.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s boast this week that Iran will soon place a satellite in orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers – and Tehran’s claim on Feb. 4 to have sent a monkey into space – highlight Iran’s role in the division of labor Pyongyang and Tehran have achieved in years of collaboration: the former focusing on a nuclear armament and the latter on long-range missile technology to deliver it.
Their advances are pooled. Pyongyang maintains a permanent mission of nuclear and missile scientists in Tehran, whereas Iranian experts are in regular attendance at North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.
Since the detonation of the “miniature atomic bomb” reported by Pyongyang Tuesday – which US President Barack Obama called “a threat to US National security”- Iran must be presumed to have acquired the same “miniature atomic bomb” capabilities – or even assisted in the detonation.