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NYT: REPORT SAYS IRAN HAS DATA TO MAKE A NUCLEAR BOMB

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Excerpts from the New York Times front-page story on Iran having sufficient data to build the Bomb: “Senior staff members of the United Nations nuclear agency have concluded in a confidential analysis that Iran has acquired ‘sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable’ atom bomb. The report by experts in the International Atomic Energy Agency stresses in its introduction that its conclusions are tentative and subject to further confirmation of the evidence, which it says came from intelligence agencies and its own investigations. But the report’s conclusions, described by senior European officials, go well beyond the public positions taken by several governments, including the United States. Two years ago, American intelligence agencies published a detailed report concluding that Tehran halted its efforts to design a nuclear weapon in 2003. But in recent months, Britain has joined France, Germany and Israel in disputing that conclusion, saying the work has been resumed. A senior American official said last week that the United States was now re-evaluating its 2007 conclusions. The atomic agency’s report also presents evidence that beyond improving upon bomb-making information gathered from rogue nuclear experts around the world, Iran has done extensive research and testing on how to fashion the components of a weapon. It does not say how far that work has progressed….Most dramatically, the report says the agency ‘assesses that Iran has sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device’ based on highly enriched uranium. Weapons based on the principle of implosion are considered advanced models compared with the simple gun-type bomb that the United States dropped on Hiroshima. They use a blast wave from a sphere of conventional explosives to compress a ball of bomb fuel into a supercritical mass, starting the atomic chain reaction and progressing to the fiery blast. Implosion designs, compact by nature, are considered necessary for making nuclear warheads small and powerful enough to fit atop a missile. The excerpts of the analysis also suggest the Iranians have done a wide array of research and testing to perfect nuclear arms, like making high-voltage detonators, firing test explosives and designing warheads.”

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