A report by the UN nuclear watchdog this week will support allegations that Iran
built a large steel container for carrying out tests with high explosives that
could be used in nuclear weapons, sources briefed on the document disclosed over
The International Atomic Energy Agency obtained satellite
pictures of the container at Parchin, near Tehran, and other evidence that lent
credence to allegations by IAEA member states that the installation was intended
for nuclear-related explosives testing, the sources said.
PostScript: When the public gets taken for a ride
Security and Defense: Rattling the cage
The IAEA will
also reveal evidence that Iran carried out computer modeling of a nuclear
weapon, one source said.
Western diplomats said the eagerly-awaited
report will strengthen suspicions that Tehran is seeking to develop the
capability to make atomic bombs, but stop short of explicitly saying it is doing
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi denied any links
between the country’s missile testing and its nuclear program, saying any
document that connects the two is “baseless and non-authentic,” Iran’s FARS News
The Iranian foreign minister went on to say that if the
IAEA were to release these documents, it would only prove that the nuclear
watchdog was under pressure from “Western powers.”
Iran blasted the US
and Israel on Saturday for their reported plans to attack the Islamic Republic
over its nuclear program, urging the international community – including the
United Nations – to condemn the two nations for their combative
Iranian Ambassador to Uruguay Hojjatollah Soltani said that such
threats were a gross violation of intentional law.
“The UN, by condemning
Israel and the US, will have to prove to all that the world belongs to all
countries and nations, and is not in the hands of only a few states,” Channel 10
quoted Sultani as saying.
President Shimon Peres on Friday said that he
believes Israel is closer to employing the military option in dealing with
Iran’s nuclear program than it is to finding a diplomatic solution to the
In an interview with Channel 2, the president suggested that the
media speculation about a possible attack on Iran may have some basis in
“Intelligence services in many countries are looking at the clock
and warning their leaders that not much time remains,” he said. “I do not know
if these world leaders will act on this advice.”
Iran could be as close
as six months from becoming nuclear armed, and it is Israel’s role to warn the
world of the danger, Peres said. He suggested that the speculation about an
attack on Iran may be a way of reminding the world of the Iranian
“Iran is nearing atomic weapons and in the time left we must turn
to the world’s nations and demand [they] fulfill their promise... which is not
merely passing sanctions. What needs to be done must be done, and there
is a long list of options.”
Earlier on Friday, Defense Minister Ehud
Barak said Israel’s position on Iran has not changed, despite recent
Israeli media reports of a possible strike.
“I propose we wait and see the
IAEA report,” Barak said, adding that he believes that if the UN nuclear
watchdog will be “daring enough to say bluntly what they know about [Iran’s]
nuclear program,” the world will understand the Iranian threat is
Speaking in an interview with Stephen Sakur of the BBC,
the defense minister repeated Israel’s position that Iran must be prevented from
obtaining nuclear weapons, and that no options should be taken off the table to
A senior military official told CNN on Friday that the United
States fears that Israel may be preparing a strike on Iran.
The US was
“absolutely” concerned about a potential Israeli attack, and the US military was
“increasingly vigilant” of activities in both Israel and Iran that could
indicate military intentions, the senior official said.
The official also
said that while the US had no intention of striking Iran, it was uncertain that
Israel would inform America of its intentions, should it choose to take out
Iran’s nuclear facilities. Such an operation would be difficult, the official
said, because Iran has “top notch” air defenses.
A senior US military
official said on Friday that Iran had become the biggest threat to the US.
“The biggest threat to the United States and to our interests and
to our friends... has come into focus and it’s Iran,” the official said,
addressing a forum in Washington. Reporters were allowed to cover the
event on condition the official not be identified.
The official said he
did not believe Iran wanted to provoke a conflict and that he did not know if
the Islamic state had decided to build a nuclear weapon.
thousands of students burned US flags and pictures of President Barack Obama in
a rally marking the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the US
President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking at a G20 summit of world
leaders in France, said, “Iran’s behavior and this obsessional desire to acquire
nuclear military [capability] is in violation of all international rules... If
Israel’s existence were threatened, France would not stand idly by.”