A new International Atomic Energy Agency report found that Iran's
nuclear program included weapons-related work at least until 2009,
much more recent than earlier believed.
Iran has worked for years on activities related to nuclear
weapons design, according to a new UN report released today that
publicly reveals what it calls "credible" information about Iranian
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the bulk of
the work - on a host of activities that could be weapons-
related, and were part of a "structured program" - was halted
abruptly in late 2003.
The IAEA said a "particular concern" was information that some
modeling and other critical design work continued at least until
"The application of such studies to anything other than a nuclear
explosive is unclear to the Agency," the IAEA said, in a 14-page
annex to its usual report on Iran's nuclear progress. "It is
therefore essential that Iran engage with the Agency and provide an
The IAEA conclusions in some ways match those of the two US
National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) on Iran in 2007 and earlier
this year, which found that Iran had halted a weapons program in
late 2003, and had made no decision to go for a bomb.
Iran has consistently rejected accusations that its nuclear power
program masks a weapons effort, and has dismissed the intelligence
which underlies the IAEA report - much of it first provided to the
IAEA by the US six years ago - as "fabricated."
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, said
the report "is unbalanced, unprofessional and politically
The IAEA reached a similar conclusion in a previous report, in
which it registered "serious concerns" about "possible military
dimensions to Iran's nuclear program."
Iran's failure to address outstanding issues presented by the
intelligence documents, aside from a 117-page explanation in May
2008, meant that Iran was scolded, as in the past, for "not
providing the necessary cooperation."
As a result, the IAEA stated that again it is "unable to provide
credible assurance... that all nuclear material in Iran is in
Unlike any previous IAEA document, however, the "restricted
distribution" report issued today spells out for the first time the
precise nature of Iranian activities that have raised such concern
The IAEA report states that the original tranche of more than
1,000 pages of documentation, files, presentations and videos - of a
"technically complex and interconnected nature, showing research,
development and testing activities over time" - has in recent years
been corroborated by data from ten member states and IAEA
investigations and interviews.
The initial documentation - which is known to have come
largely from a laptop said by the US to have been spirited out of
Iran in 2004 - involved studies that focused on a so-called green
salt project, high-explosive testing, and re-engineering the warhead
of a Shahab-3 missile to fit a specific payload.
In the six years that the IAEA has had access to the original
data, the report stated, it has found that the green salt project
was part of a larger project "to provide a source of uranium
suitable for use in an undisclosed enrichment program," the product
of which would be converted into metal "for use in the new warhead"
design of the missile re-entry studies. …