Tuesday, November 8, 2011

U.N. Report Cites Secret Nuclear Research by Iran

Via Washington Post -

The United Nation’s nuclear watchdog said Tuesday it has “serious concerns” that Iran is secretly working toward building a nuclear bomb, citing documents pointing to extensive and possibly ongoing research by Iranian scientists on mastering the technology needed for atomic weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency cited “credible” intelligence--provided by 10 countries and extensively vetted over many months--that directly contradicts Iran’s claims that its nuclear intentions are entirely peaceful.

“The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device,” the IAEA said in report prepared for the U.N. agency’s 35-nation board of directors.

It said Iran’s nuclear research appears to have been conducted through 2003 under a formal, structured program that addressed technical challenges such as warhead design and testing of nuclear detonators. While much of the research was halted that year by order of the country’s top leaders, “some activities may still be ongoing,” the report said.

Iran dismissed the allegations as a politically driven attempt to further isolate the Islamic republic, and said the documents cited by U.N. officials were forgeries.

While the IAEA has previously confronted Iran over alleged weapons research, the agency took the unusual step of releasing a 14-page dossier that describes in sometimes minute detail how Iranian scientists pursued highly specific information, skills and materials used in nuclear warhead design. The dossier was drawn form more 1,000 pages of Iranian documents and reports that were judged by U.N. inspectors to be “sufficiently comprehensive and complex . . . that it is not likely to have been the result of forgery or fabrication,” the report said.

The documents enabled the IAEA to reconstruct what the report describes as a secret command structure overseeing work in technical areas ranging from uranium-metal fabrication to designing an underground chamber where tests could be conducted. Iran appears to have procured parts and critical technical help from weapons experts from other countries, the report said.


IAEA: Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Nov 8, 2011)


CFR: IAEA Iran Report Decoded

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