11/08/2011

U.N. Says Iran Is Working on Nuclear Arms

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

By JAY SOLOMON

WASHINGTON—The United Nations' nuclear agency for the first time publicly charged Iran with developing the technologies used to develop nuclear weapons, a move that could lead to increased economic and diplomatic isolation for Tehran.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, in a quarterly report on Iran's nuclear program released Tuesday, specifically outlined its conclusions that Tehran has conducted advanced research on developing a miniaturized warhead that could be delivered by medium-range missiles.
The IAEA also said its inspectors have uncovered credible evidence that Iran has worked to develop the uranium metal used in producing warheads and that it has conducted computer simulations of nuclear detonations. The agency also said it believed Iran had conducted preparatory work for a nuclear test.
While some of this work could have civilian purposes, the report said much of it is "specific to nuclear weapons" development.
The IAEA said it had acquired more than 1,000 pages of documents detailing Iran's alleged work on developing nuclear weapons and that the information came from the IAEA itself, from Iran and from more than 10 member states of the U.N. agency.
"All of this information, taken together, gave rise to concerns about possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program," the IAEA report said.
Iran has repeatedly denied that its nuclear program is for military purposes. But the release of the report is expected to buttress efforts by the U.S and European countries to impose new financial sanctions on Iran. The Obama administration is currently deliberating whether to sanction Iran's central bank, a move that some U.S. officials believe could virtually freeze Iran out of the global financial system.
Write to Jay Solomon at jay.solomon@wsj.com