Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 7, 2009

The New Ledger’s own Bruce Henderson sent the following e-mail, which I am going to reproduce in full, since it pretty much speaks for itself:

I am on the flight to finally put me back in California, I am reading the web and I come across this:

The Guardian reports today that the International Atomic Energy Agency has asked Iran to explain evidence that Iranian scientists have experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design, but Tehran continues to stonewall requests for relevant information and drag its feet at the sputtering talks over its illicit nuclear weapons program. According to a dossier prepared by the IAEA, Iranian scientists may have tested high-explosive components of a “two-point implosion” device that could enable Iran to eventually install small nuclear warheads on its ballistic missiles. One European official said that “It is breathtaking that Iran could be working on this sort of material.” The article reported on speculation that the Pakistani nuclear proliferator A.Q. Khan or a Russian weapons expert may have helped the Iranians to master the synchronized high explosive detonations necessary to build the warhead.

And before you ask, I really could not comment publicly on this subject, but let me say this much – find someone who can talk to you about this and ask them. If this is the case, it is clear evidence that Khan gave them the design for a physics package – one that is proven to work. If they can get the neutron source and the initiators, they pretty much not only have a bomb, but a weaponized one at that.

Weaponized as in it’s small enough you can put it on a missile and get it somewhere – which is not possibly with any of the cartoon designs the Norks have been playing with.

This design is markedly different than the multi-point “fat man” type device that the big 5 all started with, and is closer to the kinds of modern warheads that are in use in the US and UK arsenal. The origin of this design was theft from Los Alamos by China, then parts of it was sold through 3rd parties to reach Pakistan. Khan has been rumored to been selling it to other states an non-state entities.

Previous post:

Next post: