Intelligence provided to U.N. nuclear officials shows that Iran’s government has mastered the critical steps needed to build a nuclear weapon, receiving assistance from foreign scientists to overcome key technical hurdles, according to Western diplomats and nuclear experts briefed on the findings.
I’m reminded of a post I did in 2006 in which Iran had told the world why it wanted nuclear capabilities. They said it was to cure disease.
After the jump, you can read my old post in it’s entirety.
Casey Hendrickson Sept. 2006
I don’t know how ready you all are to hear this, but it must be said. Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons. At least that’s what they say. Until now I’ve been pretty content in my knowledge that they were lying to the world. Afterall, all of the evidence is there.
–Iran has been steadfast in its claim that their nuclear program is simply for energy purposes, but they have refused to accept a light-water reactor in exchange for halting enrichment. If you aren’t aware … a heavy-water reactor makes it easier to manufacture nuclear weapons than a light-water reactor.
–Iran has ignored every deadline the UN has imposed, and has refused to allow monitoring.
–Hal G.P. Colebatch reported in July:
Bulgarian border guards seized a British truck carrying radioactive material … to the Iranian military … that could have been used to make a “dirty” nuclear bomb. After a scanner showed it had radiation levels 200 times normal, the truck was found to be carrying ten lead-lined boxes addressed to the Iranian Ministry of Defense.
The head of the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, Nikolai Todorov, said he was shocked that devices containing so much nuclear material could be sold so easily: “The devices are highly radioactive — if you had another 90 of them you would be able to make an effective dirty bomb.” That meant if nine similar loads got through.
“Americum-beryllium is an extremely effective element for the construction of a dirty bomb as it has a very long half-life….It is found mainly in spent reactor-fuel elements and it is not at all easy to get hold of. I find it hard to believe it is so easily available …”
Perhaps this was an isolated case … perhaps not. The article continues:
If this was a one-off incident, it would be a bad enough indictment of the present British Government. In fact it is only the latest of a series.
On August 31, 2005, a truck carrying 1,000 kg of zirconium silicate was stopped by Bulgarian authorities at the border with Turkey. The Bulgarians, detecting unusual radioactivity levels, discovered the truck was owned by a British firm, and alerted the British Embassy, which informed London on September 7. Although the trade in zirconium is meant to be tightly controlled, the truck had traveled through Britain, Germany and Romania without being stopped. The British authorities maintained there was nothing illegal about the shipment, and it was eventually allowed to proceed.
John Large, an independent nuclear consultant, said: “Zirconium is used for two purposes: for cladding nuclear fuel rods inside a reactor and as material for a nuclear weapon.”
The bottom line was that a British firm had been allowed to sell highly-dangerous radioactive material to Iran without scrutiny by the British authorities, and then within a few months something very similar happened again, either in bizarre obeisance to some bureaucratic legalism, or because no one cared.
Previously, in May 1999, Bulgarian customs officers trained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection discovered highly-enriched Uranium U-235 concealed in an air-compressor in the trunk of a car at a border-crossing checkpoint. It was believed this was a sample to show prospective buyers.
Who would have thought that Bulgaria would be such an astute ally in keeping nuclear weapons from America’s enemies? With all of this as evidence … it sure seems conclusive that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons … right? Wait until you read what I have next.
The following are excerpts from an interview with Mohammad Sa’idi, International Affairs Deputy in the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, which aired on the Iranian News Channel (IRINN) on August 27, 2006.
Interviewer: You just said that in some cases, heavy water can even be used for drinking.
Mohammad Sa’idi: Yes.
Interviewer: Could you elaborate on this?
Mohammad Sa’idi: One of the products of heavy water is depleted deuterium. As you know, in an environment with depleted deuterium, the reception of cancer cells and of the AIDS viruses is disrupted. Since this reception is disrupted, the cells are gradually expelled from the body. Obviously, one glass of depleted deuterium will not expel or cure the cancer or eliminate the AIDS. We are talking about a certain period of time. In many countries that deal with these diseases, patients use this kind of water instead of regular water, and consume it daily in order to heal their diseases.
In other words, the issue of heavy water has to do with matters of life and death, in many cases. One of the reasons that led us to produce heavy water was to use it for agricultural… medical purposes, and especially for industrial purposes in our country.
(Insert record scratch noise here)
Did he just say what I think he said? That Iran wants a heavy-water reactor so they can drink deuterium water in an effort to cure cancer and AIDS? He also said that many countries use this method as a treatment for said diseases. I am dying to know which countries drink deuterium water to combat cancer and AIDS. Sa’idi mentioned agricultural uses for heavy-water as well … tomacco anyone?
Mohammad Sa’idi: You may ask why we pursued a heavy-water research reactor, rather than a light-water reactor. This is a [legitimate] question, which deserves an answer. Since this involves simpler technology, the heavy-water research reactors have slightly simpler technology. Heavy water is currently produced at Khondab in Arak, so this technology is readily available to us. All we need to do is build the reactor. The fuel is available, and so is the moderator and the cooler, so the reactor can become productive very quickly.
So Iran wants to build a heavy-water reactor because the technology is already available to Iran. This is really great news for Iran … because they want to cure cancer and AIDS anyway. It’s a win win situation. I do have one question though. Iran is saying that they are developing a heavy-water reactor because this is the technology available to them … right? Then why did they turn down the light-water reactors that the west has offered to give them more than once? Oh yeah … to cure cancer and AIDS … I forgot. This next part is very interesting.
Interviewer: When do you think we will reach 3,000 [centrifuges]?
Mohammad Sa’idi: According to the plan.
Interviewer: Thank you. I had other questions We have done all these activities, so why aren’t we building a [nuclear] power plant?
Mohammad Sa’idi: Of course we are. One of the important issues that may arise in the future for our dear people is that in order to complete this technological process in the Islamic Republic of Iran, we have begun designing a power reactor for the production of electricity. When I say power, I mean production of electricity. This is a power reactor with a capacity of 360 mega-watt. We are working towards an Iranian-made reactor. Adjacent to the heavy-water reactor that we are building, and which is also Iranian-made, we are planning a light-water power reactor with a capacity of 360 mega-watt, which will serve as a basis for construction of [other] power reactors in the future.
Now Iran is saying that it is planning a light-water reactor … even though Sa’idi just said that they didn’t have the technology available to them? Is it just me, or did Sa’idi just pull out a big ol’ can of hypocracy? Remember, heavy-water makes it easier to develop nuclear weapons. Why would you say that you are developing heavy-water because you don’t have light-water technology, and then turn that technology down when it’s offered? Why would you say you are “working toward” a light-water reactor … when you just stated that you don’t have the technological capability? Is it because you truly want to cure cancer and AIDS … or because you are developing the bomb? The answer seems pretty clear to me … then again:
TEHRAN, Sept. 6 (UPI):
Iran’s Ministry of Health claimed to have made a medical breakthrough with a formula to control symptoms of AIDS.
The state-controlled IRNA news agency quoted an unidentified ministry employee as saying, “The research studies to find out a formula to cure AIDS was initiated during the tenure of two former health ministers and have led to useful results.”
Former Minister of Health and Medical Education Dr. Mohammad Farhadi said the chemical and herbal treatment appeared effective on other immune disorders as well.
“The theory was to determine whether or not it is possible to boost the immunity system of the body. Some 60 projects were initiated to attain the result,” Farhadi said in the IRNA report.
The announcement came a day before an international meeting to discuss U.N. sanctions against Iran for refusing to curtail the enrichment of uranium or allow its monitoring.