A confidential report compiled by senior officials in the United Nations nuclear watchdog claims Iran already has enough knowledge to build a nuclear bomb, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
According to the report, senior staff members of the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded in an analysis that Teheran has acquired "sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device," based on highly-enriched uranium.
The Times added that the report, titled 'Possible Military Dimensions of Iran's Nuclear Program,' emphasized in its introduction that its conclusions were "tentative and subject to further confirmation of the evidence, which it says came from intelligence agencies and its own investigations."
Nevertheless, the paper went on to say that the report's conclusions, as described by top European officials, "go well beyond the public positions taken by several governments, including the United States."
A December 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) said Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. However, with the new report, the IAEA has apparently joined those countries, including Israel, disagreeing with the NIE findings.
The Times said that the agency's report also presents evidence that as well as boosting bomb-making know-how, "Iran has done extensive research and testing on how to fashion the components of a weapon."
The analysis describes an Iranian Defense Ministry program "aimed at the development of a nuclear payload to be delivered using the Shahab 3 missile system," according to the Times.
The agency's analysis also reportedly says that Iran "most likely" obtained the needed information for designing and building an implosion bomb "from external sources" and then adapted the information to its own needs.