Report: Iran May Have Already Tested Advanced Nuclear Warhead Design

November 6, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Seems that Iran has some more explaining to do. The U.N. nuclear watchdog has asked Iran to explain evidence suggesting the Islamic Republic’s scientists have experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design, the Guardian reported.

The newspaper, citing what it describes as “previously unpublished documentation,” which come, in part from Western nations’ intelligence services, said Iranian scientists may have tested high-explosive components of a “two-point implosion” device. Parts of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s dossier has been published in the past, but this is the first claim that Iran has sought such advanced weaponry, a claim nuclear experts called “breathtaking” when asked by the Guardian.

James Acton, a British nuclear weapons expert, told the newspaper: “It’s remarkable that, before perfecting step one, they are going straight to step four or five … To start with more sophisticated designs speaks of level of technical ambition that is surprising.”

The IAEA said in September it has no proof Iran has or once had a covert atomic bomb program, but rumor is this was possibly a political conclusion, with the IAEA’s senior staff disagreeing with Mohamed ElBaradei, the agency’s outgoing director who opposes adopting a “confrontational strategy” with Iran.

The Guardian report said that even the existence of two-point implosion nuclear warhead technology is officially secret in both the United States and Britain. Two-point implosion devices, the paper says, are easier to develop than conventional nuclear warheads and are designed to fit onto much smaller and simpler warheads, making it easier to put a warhead on a missile, the newspaper said.


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