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Report confirms Iran's nuke abilities

2011-11-07 11:34

Washington - The Iranian government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon after receiving assistance from foreign scientists, The Washington Post reported late on Sunday.

Citing unnamed Western diplomats and nuclear experts familiar with new intelligence to be released to the United Nations, the newspaper said a former Soviet weapons scientist had allegedly tutored Iranians on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.

Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability, the report said.

An intelligence update will be circulated among International Atomic Energy Agency members on Tuesday or Wednesday. It is expected to focus on Iran's alleged efforts towards putting radioactive material in a warhead and developing missiles.

Iranian officials have already seen the Vienna-based IAEA's information, diplomats told AFP, and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in comments published in Iran on Sunday that it was based on "counterfeit" claims.

However Western officials said the intelligence reinforced concerns that Iran continued to conduct weapons-related research after 2003 when, according to US intelligence agencies, Iranian leaders halted such experiments in response to international and domestic pressures, The Post said.

The paper noted that one key breakthrough that had not been publicly described was Iran’s success in obtaining design information for a device known as a R265 generator.

The device is a hemispherical aluminium shell that is lined with pellets of high explosives and electrically wired so the detonations occur in split-second precision, the report said. The explosions compress a small sphere of enriched uranium or plutonium to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.

Creating such a device is a formidable technical challenge, and Iran needed outside assistance in designing the generator and testing its performance, the paper said.

According to the intelligence provided to the IAEA, key assistance in both areas was provided by Vyacheslav Danilenko, a former Soviet nuclear scientist who was contracted in the mid-1990s by Iran’s Physics Research Centre, the paper said.

Danilenko offered assistance to the Iranians over at least five years, giving lectures and sharing research papers on developing and testing an explosives package that the Iranians apparently incorporated into their warhead design, said The Post, citing two officials with access to the IAEA’s confidential files.

Comments
  • Mthuthuzeli - 2011-11-07 13:41

    In terms of cold hard strategic logic, there is no country on earth as surrounded by enemies as Iran. The US Imperial Army is camped out on both Eastern (Afghanistan) & Western (Iraq) borders. To the North are oligarchic US allies & to the South are the decadent, dynastic & despotic Arab regimes - ALL in utter dread of the very NOTION of an Islamic Republic. And of course The Zionist-Apartheid Entity is a Nuclear Power of the first order. Seen in this context, one may intuit that some Iranians may hanker for the Dark Cold-War Logic of Mutually Assured Destruction, by way of a deterrence, MAD as it may seem to others. The reason Iran is targeted for regime change is it sits on the second largest gas reserves in the world after Russia and has sought to challenge encirclement by the US with the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, both invasions concerned with gaining control over oil and gas. Yet there is no conclusive proof Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. With the rise of China and India, with diminishing supplies of oil and gas and that supply being found increasingly far from the West, the fear is that control over energy will fall to those who will not be controlled by the West e.g Iran, Russia, and China.

      DSBennie - 2011-11-07 13:54

      1)There is a reason why most of these countries are hostile, ethnic and religious tension, Iran stirs the minorities in its neighborhood to be hostile to their governments 2)Afghanistan does not have oil, and South Africa produces more gas than them, so how NATO got oil and gas out of them I do not know. 3)Once again the reason Iran may NOT get nuclear weapons is because they have signed the non-proliferation treaty.

      darren.peach - 2011-11-07 17:28

      Why do you call it 'The US Imperial Army' ?

  • Stephen - 2011-11-07 13:54

    Iran is a dictatorship with an ilegitimate president who got into power by killing and murdering opposition. It has repressive laws regardng women who have no rights. The quicker they crush the evil regime of Iran the better.

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