Iranian nuclear program 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
intelligence agencies played a role in helping the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) gather information that is expected to be released
later this week and will accuse Iran of developing a nuclear weapon, The Jerusalem Post has learned.Israel
is seeking sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran, which has yet to
be directly affected by earlier rounds of sanctions. Sanctions imposed
on the CBI would, for example, make it difficult for Iran to bankroll
its nuclear program and buy components it requires to build new advanced
addition to Israel, intelligence agencies from the United States and
Europe were also instrumental in helping the IAEA compile the report.
Barak not optimistic about int'l will to stop Iranian
Israel hoping IAEA report will spur West into
is expecting the United States to take the lead in pushing the United
Nations and other Western countries to impose tougher, new sanctions on
Iran following the publication of the incriminating IAEA report.
The UN nuclear watchdog report is expected to show recent activity in Iran that could help in
developing nuclear bombs, including intelligence about computer modeling
of such weapons, Western diplomats said on Tuesday.
"There are bits and pieces of information that go up through 2010," one Vienna-based diplomat said.
confirmed in this week's keenly awaited document by the International
Atomic Energy Agency, it could stimulate new debate about a
controversial US intelligence assessment in 2007 that Iran had halted
outright "weaponization" work in 2003.
It would heighten Western
suspicions that Iran is resolved to pursue at least some of the research
and development (R&D) applicable to atom bombs, even if Tehran has
made no apparent decision to actually build them, as diplomats believe .
"There is still evidence there where I think the agency will be in a
position to say that they have serious concerns coming up to the present
day," said another envoy in the Austrian capital, where the IAEA is
But Western officials and experts suggested that research
and experiments pointing to military nuclear aims may not have continued
on the same scale as before 2003, when Iran started coming under
increased Western pressure over its nuclear work.
understood to have continued or restarted some R&D activities since
then," said nuclear proliferation analyst Peter Crail of the US-based
Arms Control Association, a research and advocacy group.
denies accusations it is seeking nuclear arms, saying they are based on
forged documents. It says its uranium enrichment program is aimed at
generating electricity so that it can export more of its abundant oil.
conservative experts criticized the 2007 findings as inaccurate and
naive, and US intelligence agencies now believe Iranian leaders have
resumed closed-door debates over the last four years about whether to
build a nuclear bomb.
"I suspect that the new IAEA report will
play into the hands of US conservative and Israeli critics of the 2007
NIE (National Intelligence Estimate), who had accused the US
intelligence community of playing down evidence of clandestine nuclear
weapons activities in Iran," said Shannon Kile of the Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute think tank.Modeling a Nuclear Weapon
IAEA report, due to be submitted to member states in the next few days,
is expected to provide new evidence of explosives and physics research
suggesting Iran is seeking the capability to design nuclear weapons.
of the activities have little application other than atomic
bomb-making, including computer modeling of a nuclear weapon, sources
familiar with the document said.
They said it would support
intelligence reports that Iran built a large steel container at the
Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran for the purpose of carrying
out tests with high explosives usable for a nuclear chain reaction.
"It is a forensic body of evidence that shows some serious scientific intent," one of the Western diplomats said.
February, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Iran
was "keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by
developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to
produce such weapons."
Crail said Clapper's statements were not
"inconsistent with the notion that some weapons-related R&D has
resumed which is not part of a determined, integrated
weapons-development program of the type that Iran maintained prior to
Mark Fitzpatrick, a director of the International
Institute for Strategic Studies, said it was too early to say whether
the IAEA report will cast doubt on the 2007 NIE assessment.
US intelligence community already has the information in the IAEA
report," Fitzpatrick said, adding that Clapper as recently as March
confirmed the belief that Iran had not made a decision to restart its
nuclear weapons program.
"The apparent disconnect between that
statement and the leaks that have come out about the IAEA report
probably pertain to the time frame of the weapons research and
development and the level and scale of the activity that the IAEA
apparently believes continued after 2003," he said.