New York: United
Nations weapons inspectors have suggested that Iran "carried out
activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device" and
that the project may still be under way, the New York Times
reported quoting a report of the International Atomic Energy
The long-awaited report, released by IAEA Tuesday, laid out the
case that Iran had moved far beyond the blackboard to create
computer models of nuclear explosions in 2008 and 2009 and
conducted experiments on nuclear triggers, the daily said.
It said the simulations focused on how shock waves from
conventional explosives could compress the spherical fuel at the
core of a nuclear device, which starts the chain reaction that
ends in nuclear explosion.
The report also said that Iran went beyond such theoretical
studies to build a large containment vessel at its Parchin
military base, starting in 2000, for testing the feasibility of
such explosive compression. It called such tests "strong
indicators of possible weapon development".
According to the Times, the inspectors agreed with a much-debated
classified United States National Intelligence Estimate issued in
2007 that Iran had dismantled a highly focused effort to build a
bomb in late 2003, but found significant recent work, though
conducted in a less coordinated manner.
The report does not claim that Iran has mastered all the necessary
technologies, or estimate how long it would take for Iran to be
able to produce a nuclear weapon.
Inspectors do not point to a single weapons lab, or provide
evidence of a fully constructed nuclear weapon.
Instead, the report describes roughly a dozen different projects
that countries that have built nuclear weapons - the United
States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Israel, India and Pakistan
- all had to grapple with, in some form.
An IAEA report last May listed five fewer categories of such
technical information, the Times said.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Yukiya Amano, the IAEA's
head, a US puppet, saying that "they (the US officials) have
appointed a man as the chief of the IAEA who has no authority",
reported RIA Novosti.
UN nuclear watchdog's new report has triggered a new wave of
threats from Israel since the senior members of the Israeli
government backed the possibility of launching strikes against
Iran's nuclear facilities.
Israeli President Shimon Peres reiterated Sunday that an attack on
Iran is becoming increasingly likely.
Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said Iranian
armed forces were in "full combat readiness and will give a
crushing response to those daring to attack the country", Irna
Earlier Tuesday, the Russian foreign ministry expressed dismay
that the IAEA report has become a source of increased tension
surrounding Iran's nuclear programme.
It also questioned whether the IAEA was able ensure the
appropriate confidentiality for its work, adding that the IAEA
should be guided by the principle: "Do no harm."
Iranian President Ahmadinejad called on the IAEA to issue a report
on the atomic arsenal of the US, the Fars news agency reported.
The IAEA should release reports on the US atomic bombs concealed
in 1,000 of its military bases, said Ahmadinejad.
The agency should report on the US atomic weapons instead of
releasing "unreal" reports on the civilian nuclear programme of
"independent" countries like Iran, he said.
Ahmadinejad said the IAEA was a tool at the hands of a number of
countries who want to control the world, according to Xinhua.
He said that "unfortunately" IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano
has "violated the agency's rules" by repeating the words of the
US, said Fars.
The IAEA director-general has urged Iran to cooperate with the
agency to prove that its nuclear programme was for peaceful
Iranian leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami has also said the US
was using the IAEA as a "tool against Iran".
"The US is using international organisations, including the IAEA,
as tools to pressure Iran over its nuclear programme," Khatami was
quoted as saying.
Recent tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear
programme has raised concerns that the US and Israel may consider
a possible military strike on Iran's nuclear sites.