And now the International Atomic Energy Agency has the intelligence to confirm it.
Here’s What The Intelligence Says
From Joby Warrick’s article in the 11/6/11 Washington Post:
“Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.
Documents and other records provide new details on the role played by a former Soviet weapons scientist who allegedly tutored Iranians over several years on building high-precision detonators of the kind used to trigger a nuclear chain reaction, the officials and experts said. Crucial technology linked to experts in Pakistan and North Korea also helped propel Iran to the threshold of nuclear capability, they added.
The officials, citing secret intelligence provided over several years to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the records reinforce concerns that Iran continued to conduct weapons-related research after 2003 — when, U.S. intelligence agencies believe, Iranian leaders halted such experiments in response to international and domestic pressures.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog is due to release a report this week laying out its findings on Iran’s efforts to obtain sensitive nuclear technology. Fears that Iran could quickly build an atomic bomb if it chooses to has fueled anti-Iran rhetoric and new threats of military strikes. Some U.S. arms-control groups have cautioned against what they fear could be an overreaction to the report, saying there is still time to persuade Iran to change its behavior.”
And It’s Worse Than Suspected
“… the new disclosures fill out the contours of an apparent secret research program that was more ambitious, more organized and more successful than commonly suspected. Beginning early in the last decade and apparently resuming — though at a more measured pace — after a pause in 2003, Iranian scientists worked concurrently across multiple disciplines to obtain key skills needed to make and test a nuclear weapon that could fit inside the country’s long-range missiles, said David Albright, a former IAEA official who has reviewed the intelligence files.”
Iran Got Experienced Outside Help
“… 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 Center, a facility linked to the country’s nuclear program. Documents provided to the U.N. officials showed that 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, according to two officials with access to the IAEA’s confidential files.
Iran relied on foreign experts to supply mathematical formulas and codes for theoretical design work — some of which appear to have originated in North Korea, diplomats and weapons experts say. Additional help appears to have come from the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, whose design for a device known as a neutron initiator was found in Iran, the sources said. Khan is known to have provided nuclear blueprints to Libya that included a neutron initiator, a device that shoots a stream of atomic particles into a nuclear weapon’s fissile core at the start of the nuclear chain reaction.”
“IAEA officials, based on the totality of the evidence given to them, have concluded that Iran ‘has sufficient information to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device’ using highly enriched uranium as its fissile core. In the presentation, he described intelligence that points to a formalized and rigorous process for gaining all the necessary skills for weapons-building, using native talent as well as a generous helping of foreign expertise.”
There You Have It
Iran must be stopped.
Flimsy negotiations and attempted diplomacy with A’jad et al only emboldens them, and it conveys cowardice towards a man with such sinister intent.
Thankfully, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is rumored to be considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran. Pray that America’s leadership addresses this very clear and present threat with the same courage.