Iran's Nuclear Option

Tehran's Quest for the Atom Bomb

Al J Venter

Iran's Nuclear Option is essential reading for anyone with an interest in global security and the perilous volatility of the Middle East. It also comprises an indicator for America's own options, should it be willing to counter the threat while time remains, in favor of world peace rather than greater global instability.
Date Published :
January 2005
Publisher :
Illustration :
8 pages color photos, line drawings
No associated books available.


At a time when international terrorism is the focal point of our concerns, a far more pressing threat has arisen to the balance of power in the world and ultimately to the security of our country. Since the Islamic Republic of Iran admitted, just two years ago, that it was secretly producing highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium, leading nations have struggled to react in an appropriate manner. In this book, the U.S. public is able to learn, in full detail and for the first time, exactly what the Europeans and UN have been trying to forestall.

In Iran we see a country, located at the center of the uraniumMiddle East, which could very shortly have the ability to strike its immediate neighbors and nations farther away with nuclear weapons. With the innate size to dominate its region, Iran is also a country with an avowed mission to export it's theocratic principles, and a nation which has, over the past 25 years, been a notorious supporter of terrorist organizations. Its parallel development of atomic bombs comprises the greatest threat that we have seen in the new millennium.

In Iran's Nuclear Option, defense expert Al J. Venter details the extent to which Iran's weapons program has developed, and the clandestine manner in which its nuclear technology has been acquired. He demonstrates how Tehran has violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and details the involvement of several countries who have been shown by the IAEA to have trafficked in illegal nuclear materials. He proves, for the first time, a direct link between the now-defunct South African apartheid regime's nuclear program and Tehran's current nuclear ambitions.

Venter digs deep into ancillary subjects, such as Iran's fervor on behalf of Shiite Islam, its missile program—developed alongside its nuclear one—and the role of the Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards), whose tentacles have spread throughout the Middle East and increasingly further afield. While noting Tehran's support of terrorist groups such as Hizbollah, Venter follows closely how the Persian homeland itself has progressed toward a strategic nuclear capability that would make recent terrorist attacks look obsolete.

Iran's Nuclear Option is essential reading for anyone with an interest in global security and the perilous volatility of the Middle East. It also comprises an indicator for America's own options, should it be willing to counter the threat while time remains, in favor of world peace rather than greater global instability.

About The Author

Al J. Venter is a specialist military writer and has had 50 books published. He started his career with Geneva’s Interavia Group, then owners of International Defence Review, to cover military developments in the Middle East and Africa. Venter has been writing on these and related issues such as guerrilla warfare, insurgency, the Middle East and conflict in general for half a century. He was involved with Jane’s Information Group for more than 30 years and was a stringer for the BBC, NBC News (New York) as well as London’s Daily Express and Sunday Express. He branched into television work in the early 1980s and produced more than 100 documentaries, many of which were internationally flighted. His one-hour film, 'Africa’s Killing Fields' (on the Ugandan civil war), was shown nationwide in the United States on the PBS network. Other films include an hour-long program on the fifth anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, as well as 'AIDS: The African Connection', nominated for China’s Pink Magnolia Award. His last major book was 'Portugal’s Guerrilla Wars in Africa', nominated in 2013 for New York’s Arthur Goodzeit military history book award. It has gone into three editions, including translation into Portuguese.


Foreword by Stephen Tanner

1 Iran: Its People and Government
2 The Iran-Iraq War, 1980–1988
3 Iran's Shi'ites: Provocative and Driven

4 How Close is Iran to Building an A-Bomb?
5 Doomsday Scenario
6 Iran's Multi-Stemmed Centrifuge Program: An Overview by David Albright and Corey Hinderstein
7 Nuclear Link-up: South Africa and Iran
8 Case Study: South Africa's Atom Bomb

9 Building Guided Missiles to Hit Israel
10 Iran's History of Terror
11 Iran's Unconventional Weapons
12 Pasdaran: The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
13 What's Next?

Appendix A The Russia-Iran Nuclear Connection
Appendix B IAEA Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Appendix C Iran's Economy and Oil and Gas Resources
Appendix D How Saddam Hussein Almost Built His Bomb
Appendix E Close-Quarter Observations: The South African Nuclear Weapons Program
Appendix F Iran's Missiles: Devils in the Detail by Charles P. Vick
Appendix G Pasdaran's Protegé: Hizbollah

Acronyms, Technical, Arabic, and Persian Words and Phrases


“an outstanding survey of the threats the present Iranian regime poses to the world. One of this books great strengths is how carefully Venter documents Iran’s efforts to obtain parts and personnel for weapons building….shows clearly and convincingly why stopping Iran’s nuclear program is a cardinal interest not only for any particular state, but for humanity as a whole.”

- Jerusalem Political Studies Review

“the place to turn for technical details and footNoted references…offers the most systematic exposition to date about Iran’s nuclear program and its role in world affairs…”

- Middle East Quarterly

“…of great interest to anyone watching the current nuclear proliferation problem…”

- Parameters

“…a chilling insight into the scope and sophistication of Iran’s concerted, multi-decade quest for the atomic bomb… a sobering blow by blow account of how Tehran managed diplomatically to stall, mislead and confound the IAEA…”

- The National Interest

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