In its latest report on Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has declared for the first time that: “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.” The report, which has not been publicly released by the IAEA, will be considered by the Agency’s 35-member Board of Governors at a meeting in Vienna from 17 November 2011.
According to the leaked report “information indicates that prior to the end of 2003, these activities took place under a structured programme.” Some activities may still be ongoing, it said.
The report, which is based on information from a wide variety of ‘credible sources,’ including more than ten of the IAEA member states, indicates that Iran has been involved in: efforts to procure nuclear related and dual use equipment and materials; efforts to develop undeclared pathways for the production of nuclear material; the acquisition of nuclear weapons development information and documentation from a clandestine nuclear supply network; and work on the development of an indigenous design of a nuclear weapon including the testing of components.
Modelling studies alleged to have been conducted in 2008 and 2009 by Iran is of ‘particular concern’ to the Agency, according to the report. The studies involved the modelling of spherical geometries, consisting of components of the core of an HEU nuclear device subjected to shock compression, for their neutronic behaviour at high density, and a determination of the subsequent nuclear explosive yield. “The application of such studies to anything other than a nuclear explosive is unclear,” the report said.
The report urges Iran “ to engage substantively with the agency without delay for the purpose of providing clarifications regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.”
Iran denies claims that it has a nuclear weapons programme. The Iranian ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, has dismissed the report as “unbalanced and unprofessional.”