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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran has enough data to produce nuclear bomb - report

RIA Novosti

07:31 04/10/2009 MOSCOW, October 4 (RIA Novosti) - A confidential report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that Iran had had enough information to produce a nuclear bomb, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

Western powers suspect Iran of attempting to build atomic weapons, but Tehran says its nuclear program is aimed at generating nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

Iran has "sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable" nuclear weapon, the paper quotes the report as saying.

The report, produced in consultations with nuclear weapons experts both inside and outside the IAEA, stresses in its introduction that the conclusions are tentative and are subject to further confirmation.

The report, titled "Possible Military Dimensions of Iran's Nuclear Program," says Iran's Ministry of Defense runs a complex program "aimed at the development of a nuclear payload to be delivered using the Shahab 3 missile system," with a range of 2,100 km (1,300 miles).

"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," the paper said.

According to the report, the program apparently began in early 2002. The report does not specify how far that work has progressed, however.

According to the country's semi-official Iranian Students News Agency, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei arrived in Iran on Saturday to discuss inspections of the country's controversial second uranium enrichment facility. The visit comes two days after talks in Switzerland between Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and representatives of six world powers.

The meeting with the 'Iran Six' was convened soon after news of Iran's second uranium enrichment site in Qom led to calls for harsher sanctions against Tehran.



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