The nuclear material which Iran was trying to conceal, but the Mossad discovered during its 2018 operation seizing Tehran’s nuclear secrets, was probably “yellowcake,” former US National Security Adviser reveals in his new book.
To date, no official source had confirmed what the nuclear material was, which has now even brought the IAEA into conflict with the Ayatollahs, demanding clarification about the concealed nuclear material.
Yellowcake is human-processed uranium oxide in a solid form, usually the more stable form uranium is present when it is transported around to different locations.
Bolton describes the nuclear material when recalling a visit to Israel in 2018.
He said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “and his team focused on the latest information gleaned from Israel’s daring raid on Iran’s nuclear archives, and the subsequent IAEA inspection of the Turquzabad site, which revealed human-processed uranium.”
“It was not enriched uranium, but perhaps yellowcake (uranium oxide in solid form), and certainly evidence contradicting Tehran’s repeated assertions it had never had a nuclear weapons program,” continued the former national security adviser.
Further, Bolton wrote, “Iran had tried to sanitize Turquzabad, as it had tried to sanitize Lavizan in 2004 and the explosive test chambers at Parchin between 2012 and 2015, but it had failed again. This could well be evidence that Iran kept alive its ‘Amad plan’ for nuclear weapons after it was supposedly ended in 2004, and would definitely put Tehran on the defensive internationally.”
According to Bolton, “Like any product of mining, uranium is processed mechanically and chemically in advance of actually being put to use… before it can be enriched… Of course, Israel knows for certain what form the uranium is in since it has stolen documents, as does the IAEA, which has collected samples, but the likelihood is that the uranium at Turquzabad was yellowcake.”
Although Bolton does not officially confirm that the uranium was yellowcake – likely due to restrictions on him by the US national security censors – The Jerusalem Post has reported that Mossad Director Yossi Cohen gave full and early reports of the 2018 operation’s findings to the Trump administration.
His juxtaposing that “Israel knows for certain… as does the IAEA” makes it clear that he knows as well and is revealing it indirectly so as not to offend the US censor.
Bolton’s comments that the uranium was likely human processed yellowcake puts Iran in a very difficult position to explain why it was concealing this, even if it was not yet enriched.
It also supports the critique that Tehran is refusing to explain the issue and denying the IAEA access to two other nuclear sites because if it grants access, its military intent for its nuclear program will be further exposed.
Ironically, as Bolton noted, Iran had several months to clean up the Turquzabad site of any nuclear traces before the IAEA came to visit.
Israel even criticized the IAEA at the time for moving too slow to visit Turquzabad, such that Jerusalem said the agency was hoping Iran would erase all traces of nuclear material so as to avoid the need for a confrontation.
Despite the passage of time, the IAEA still found leftovers of the nuclear material in soil samples that it took when it visited Turquzabad, which, along with the two undeclared Iranian nuclear sites it wants access to, led to Friday’s vote demanding the Islamic Republic fix its lack of cooperation.
The Mossad’s 2018 operation first revealed the Shirobad site where Iran kept its nuclear archives, then revealed the Turquzabad site and in 2019 revealed the Abadeh nuclear site.
Sources close to Mossad Director Yossi Cohen previously told the Post that besides the 2018 operation proving Iran lied when it said it has not sought nuclear weapons, and that the operation also presented Israel with a map of the ayatollahs’ other undeclared nuclear sites.