Pakistan `Supplying Iran and North Korea with Technology Used in Nuclear Weapons'
Andrew Buncombe and Phil Reeves, The Independent (London, England)
PAKISTAN HAS secretly been supplying Iran with technology crucial to the development of a nuclear weapons programme, international inspectors say. There is also evidence Pakistan has been supplying North Korea and other countries with such expertise.
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - the UN's nuclear watchdog - have recently uncovered a huge procurement network developed by Iran during the past 17 years to provide it with materials, tools and specialist knowledge.
Iran has not yet directly identified Pakistan as a supplier but reports say there is ample evidence to conclude it has provided crucial blueprints, technical guidance and equipment. Pakistan responded by saying yesterday that the father of its nuclear bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan, is being questioned by officials about possible links between Pakistan and the Iranian nuclear programme.
Reports suggested he had been under house arrest for several weeks following Iran's acknowledgement that it had been using centrifuge designs apparently identical to those used in Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme.
Masood Khan, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Dr Khan, regarded as a national hero for creating an "Islamic atomic bomb" to rival India, is being questioned by Pakistani authorities, who are conducting interviews with several nuclear scientists working at Dr A Q Khan Research Laboratories.
Masood Khan said: "He is too eminent a scientist to undergo a normal debriefing session. However, some questions have been raised with him in relation to the ongoing debriefing sessions."
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Pakistan's Information minister, said: "Some individuals may have been doing something on their own. …