“If there were a military outbreak in [Iran], the consequences would be catastrophic, studies show,” Kalev Stoicescu, a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Defence and Security, said on July 9 on Vikerraadio, Estonian Public Broadcasing, commenting on Iran’s uranium enrichment and mounting tensions around the Persian Gulf.
According to Stoicescu, there is also the potential for a nuclear war to break out if Iran were to attack Israel that has a nuclear weapon. “All the options are on the table right now, but we still hope for the best,” he noted.
The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has hinted that they are capable of 20% enrichment of uranium, 80-90% enrichment is required for nuclear weapons. According to Stoicescu, it is technically easy to make the jump from 20 to 90. “We hope, of course, that things will not go that way, because it would also be politically an important increase of tensions, an escalation that should be avoided,” Stoicescu said.
According to Stoicescu, some developments show that both Iran and the US are trying to avoid further tensions. “At the same time, both sides want to show strength and determination. There is nothing currently pointing to a path where de-escalation and negotiation could begin,” he said.
Stoicescu was interviewed by Lauri Varik. Listen to the full interview in Estonian on Vikerraadio (starting from 00:34:20).