At the beginning of the month, AP reported that:
The U.N. nuclear chief said Monday [6th November] that Iran is not cooperating with an investigation into suspected secret work on nuclear weapons.
Yukio Amano told the U.N. General Assembly that talks between the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran have intensified this year after an IAEA report in November 2011 said it had “credible information that Iran had carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device,” he said.
On the 21st November, Reuters added that:
“ Iran has been hauling dirt to a military site U.N. nuclear inspectors want to visit, Western diplomats said on Wednesday, saying the findings were based on satellite images and they reinforced suspicions of a clean-up.”
While today there were two further developments:
- The IB Times reported that the IAEA servers had been hacked.
“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said a previously unknown anti-Israeli group called Parastoo — meaning the swallow bird in Farsi and a common name for girls in Iran — had posted the contact details of more than 100 nuclear experts on the group’s website three days ago.”
- ‘The Diagram’
It is not a smoking gun, but it is yet another piece of evidence pointing to the military nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
The AP reports that:
“The International Atomic Energy Agency — the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear watchdog — reported last year that it had obtained diagrams indicating that Iran was calculating the “nuclear explosive yield” of potential weapons. A senior diplomat who is considered neutral on the issue confirmed that the graph obtained by the AP was indeed one of those cited by the IAEA in that report.”
But George Jahn from the AP keeps his feet (and ours) firmly on the ground, by cross-checking the precise relevance of this diagram with one of the world’s experts in the field.
David Albright, whose Institute for Science and International Security is used by the U.S. government as a go-to source on Iran’s nuclear program, said the diagram looks genuine but seems to be designed more “to understand the process” than as part of a blueprint for an actual weapon in the making.
“The yield is too big,” Albright said, noting that North Korea’s first tests of a nuclear weapon were only a few kilotons. Because the graph appears to be only one in a series, others might show lower yields, closer to what a test explosion might produce, he said.
The ISIS is indeed an extremely professional body whose analysis is worth further perusal for those unfamiliar with it.
Albright, along with Christina Walrond and Andrea Stricker recently presented an extremely detailed and well presented analysis of the most updated IAEA Safeguards Report. In addition, the ISIS’ analysis of the Parchin high explosives test site through satellite imagery continues to provide important pieces to the complex and often enigmatic Iranian nuclear puzzle.
Meanwhile, Iran’s war with the IAEA continues…