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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The IAEA report on Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions is released

The IAEA report on Iran's nuclear program has been released.

It details evidence, both direct and indirect, that Iran is actively working on all stages of a nuclear weapons program.

The summary:
52. While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, as Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation, including by not implementing its Additional Protocol, the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.

53. The Agency has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. After assessing carefully and critically the extensive information available to it, the Agency finds the information to be, overall, credible. The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. The information also indicates that prior to the end of 2003, these activities took place under a structured programme, and that some activities may still be ongoing.

The specifics are found in the annexes, which go through much detail on what is necessary to create nuclear weapons and specific evidence of how Iran is shown to be engaged in every one of those activities:
  • Programme management structure
  • Procurement activities
  • Nuclear material acquisition
  • Nuclear components for an explosive device
  • Detonator development
  • Initiation of high explosives and associated experiments
  • Hydrodynamic experiments
  • Modelling and calculations
  • Neutron initiator
  • Conducting a test
  • Integration into a missile delivery vehicle
  • Fuzing, arming and firing system
Intriguingly, the report alludes to some information that seems to have been obtained via espionage:
A Member State provided the Agency experts with access to a collection of electronic files from seized computers belonging to key members of the network at different locations. That collection included documents seen in Libya, along with more recent versions of those documents, including an up-dated electronic version of the uranium metal document.
Altogether, the IAEA has pieced together a very convincing - if sometimes irritatingly circumstantial - argument that Iran has been, and still is, actively working to develop nuclear weapons.