This Tuesday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a detailed report regarding the ambitious and structured nuclear progress of Iran. While Iran maintains that its sole use for developing a nuclear energy program is for peaceful and civilian purposes, the IAEA is confident in its findings and unprecedented claim that Iran is concealing its true intentions — the production of nuclear weaponry.
The report included a 13-page annex with detailed descriptions of suspected key technologies procured by Tehran. The annex was compiled from more than 1,000 credible Iranian documents which has lead inspectors to conclude Iran carried out a “structured program” specific to nuclear weapons development prior to 2003 and procurement of such objectives “may still be ongoing.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
The report also indicated that Iran has conducted high explosive testing and detonator development and created a computer modeling of a nuclear warhead core. Details of preparatory work were also reported, showing the nuclear development of Iran’s Shahab 3 intermediate range missiles — a weapon with the ability to reach Israel.
The Iranian government quickly denounced the IAEA’s allegations as fabrications with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, adding Thursday that, “Anybody who takes up the idea of an attack on Iran, should get ready to receive a strong slap and an iron fist.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Tehran would not retreat “an iota” from its nuclear program.
This is the first time the IAEA has outwardly expressed concern over Iran’s nuclear ambitions. A U.S. senior official described the report as being, “very comprehensive, credible, quite damming, and alarming.” The report is largely held by the U.S. as justification for its long-term belief that Iran always possessed an ulterior motive when it came to its nuclear program.
The IAEA’s report has forced the international community to acknowledge the Iranian aspiration for nuclear proliferation. How each country will choose to respond remains to be seen.