Proliferation News
» November 8, 2011

U.S. Hangs Back as Inspectors Prepare Report on Iran's Nuclear Program

David E. Sanger and William J. Broad | New York Times


An imminent report by United Nations weapons inspectors includes the strongest evidence yet that Iran has worked in recent years on a kind of sophisticated explosives technology that is primarily used to trigger a nuclear weapon, according to Western officials who have been briefed on the intelligence. But the case is hardly conclusive.

Iran's restrictions on inspectors have muddied the picture. And however suggestive the evidence about what the International Atomic Energy Agency calls "possible military dimensions" of Iran's program turns out to be, the only sure bet is that the mix of sleuthing, logic and intuition by nuclear investigators will be endlessly compared with the American intelligence agencies' huge mistakes in Iraq in 2003.

Just as it was eight years ago, the I.A.E.A., which was conceived as a purely technical organization insulated from politics, is about to be sucked into the political whirlpool about how the world should respond to murky weapons intelligence. Except this time everything is backward: It is the I.A.E.A., which punched holes in the Bush administration's claims about Iraq's nuclear progress, that today is escalating the case that Iran has resumed work on bomb-related technology, after years of frustration over questions that have gone unanswered by that government.    Full Article

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Jeffrey Goldberg and Marc Ambinder | The Atlantic
Shortly after American Navy Seals raided the Pakistani city of Abbottabad in May and killed Osama bin Laden, General Ashfaq Kayani, the Pakistani chief of army staff, spoke with Khalid Kidwai, the retired lieutenant general in charge of securing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.     Full Article

Itar-Tass News Agency
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Steven Aftergood | Federation of American Scientists
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Pierre Goldschmidt | NPEC Conference Paper
IAEA safeguards are both the principal means of verifying a state's compliance with international nuclear obligations, as well as detecting the potential transgression of these obligations. In the coming years, the IAEA will be asked to safeguard an increasing number of nuclear facilities. It will need additional funds to procure new types and more effective equipment, and expertise to carry out these additional responsibilities.     Full Article

Jim Wolf | Reuters
The Pentagon's advanced research arm said Monday it is boosting efforts to build offensive cyber arms for possible keyboard-launched U.S. military attacks against enemy targets. The military needs "more and better options" to meet cyber threats to a growing range of industrial and other systems controlled by computers vulnerable to penetration.     Full Article

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Produced twice weekly, Proliferation News provides a free summary of news and analysis on efforts to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons. Visit the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program website for further information and resources. Please send your comments and suggestions to the editor at

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