AS if the world is not unstable enough, Iran now has the means to build a nuclear bomb.
A senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Al Jazeera news on Sunday that “Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build one”.
Not one to take threats lightly, Israel has long been poised to strike in the event of such an announcement.
I suspect it’s now just a question of when.
Iran, like Russia, is a real threat to world peace.
It’s already launched drone attacks on its neighbours, hijacked gulf shipping and covertly supported Hezbollah militia.
The timing of this statement comes as President Biden has just ended a trip to the Middle East, during which he pledged with Israel to prevent Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon, with military force to be used only as a ‘last resort’.
Extraordinarily, Mr Biden even won support from Saudi Arabia – formerly, Israel’s staunchest foe.
All this politicking was confirmation that new attempts to revive the joint nuclear deal with the West have foundered.
Since the reimposition of harsh sanctions, Tehran has violated nuclear agreements which placed a limit on uranium enrichment.
The failure of these talks has opened the doors for malign states to co-operate.
President Putin visited Iran on Tuesday on his first trip outside Russia since invading Ukraine.
It’s thought the drones his troops are using are supplied by Iran.
They were also used by Huthi rebels to attack Saudi oil installations.
Now, adding to the mix, Putin has been joined in Iran by Turkey’s President Erdogan, ostensibly to discuss Syria.
With such shifting alliances, the situation is incendiary.