Iran's nuclear program has military aspects, says IAEA
According to a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are military aspects to Iran's nuclear program. The report was released in advance of the annual conference of IAEA member countries which will convene in Vienna on September 14. The report notes past activity by Iran that could indicate research and experiments of a military nature.
Among other details was an indication that a foreign scientific expert helped Iran in their efforts to develop a "metallic hemisphere," a reference to a nuclear bomb. Although the scientist was not identified in the report, Haaretz has learned that he is a Russian national. Other findings in the report include the existence of a computer containing blueprints suspected to pertain to calculations of the altitude from which a nuclear weapon should be dropped. After Iran had for years denied the existence of such a computer, and then argued that its contents were a fabrication, Tehran acknowledged its existence but claimed the drawings pertained to a two-stage missile.
The IAEA report also contains findings regarding experiments that Iran conducted on explosive materials to examine chain reactions. The organization believes the experiment was connected to research on a nuclear explosion. The report also contained information about cooperation between Iranian agencies and corporations with military contacts and foreign parties including nuclear research institutes in Russia.
The IAEA report does not, however, say that these findings prove that Iran is working to develop a military nuclear program. It does point out that Iran continues to ignore repeated demands for information regarding past activity that could indicate a desire to manufacture nuclear weapons. It also notes that Iran is ignoring United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for it to stop enriching uranium, which nonetheless continues. The report states that Iran has installed approximately 3,800 additional centrifuges at its nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz in the period since the last report, bringing the total number of centrifuges at the facility to about 8,300. Not all of them, however, are operational.
Israel yesterday accused the IAEA of hiding information about Iran's efforts to develop a military nuclear program, saying that the significance of the report lies in what it does not contain. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Israel expects the international community to take urgent, concrete steps to block Iran's military nuclear program.
It noted that next month, in addition to the IAEA conference, the UN General Assembly and a special session of the UN Security Council are to discyss Iran's program. Israel called on participants in these events to insist on Iran's response to the Security Council resolutions.