Iranians admit receiving nuclear warhead blueprint from disgraced Pakistani expert
International suspicion of Iran's nuclear programme heightened yesterday when it was revealed that Tehran had obtained a blueprint showing how to build the core of a nuclear warhead.
Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told diplomats that his inspectors had recently obtained documents from Tehran showing that the Iranians had been given various instructions on processing uranium hexafluoride gas and casting and enriching uranium. These had been obtained via the black market in nuclear technology headed by the disgraced Pakistani scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan.
Informed diplomats said the blueprint for casting uranium was required in making the core of a nuclear warhead, although that alone was not enough for the manufacture of a weapon.
United Nations inspectors had long suspected that the Khan network had helped Iran, but this was the first time the Iranians had come clean on the issue. They told the inspectors they had not sought the information, but that the Khan network had supplied the documents anyway.
This claim stretched credulity among diplomats and nuclear experts, and reinforced their conviction that Tehran is determined to acquire the capacity and knowhow for nuclear weapons.
Pakistani nuclear experts are always calling me and emailing me with information on how to build nuclear warheads - sounds credible to me!