Nuke program til ’09: Iran Worked Weapons Until
Published: December 4, 2015
Nuke program til ’09: Iran Worked Weapons Until, Iran was actively designing a nuclear weapon until 2009, more recently than the United States and other Western intelligence agencies have publicly acknowledged, according to a final report by the United Nations nuclear inspection agency.
The report, based on partial answers Iran provided after reaching its nuclear accord with the West in July, concluded that Tehran conducted “computer modeling of a nuclear explosive device” before 2004. It then resumed the efforts during President Bush’s second term and continued them into President Obama’s first year in office.
But while the International Atomic Energy Agency detailed a long list of experiments Iran had conducted that were “relevant to a nuclear explosive device,” it found no evidence that the effort succeeded in developing a complete blueprint for a bomb.
In part, that may have been because Iran refused to answer several essential questions, and appeared to have destroyed potential evidence in others.
The completion of the report is one of the steps that Iran had to take – along with dismantling centrifuges and shipping nuclear fuel out of the country – before sanctions will be lifted under the nuclear deal.
Mr. Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, concluded this year that it was more important to secure a deal that will, if carried out fully, prevent Iran from gaining the material to build a bomb for at least 15 years than making it admit to past activities. So, the report’s publication allows the deal to go through, no matter how definitive or inconclusive the final result.
But Iran’s refusal to cooperate on central points could set a dangerous precedent as the United Nations agency tries to convince other countries with nuclear technology that they must fully answer queries to determine if they have a secret weapons program.
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