Intelligence from the International Atomic Energy Agency provided to United Nations nuclear officials shows that Iran is on the brink of nuclear capability thanks to assistance from foreign scientists, The Washington Post reports.
IAEA records indicate that the Iranian government has been receiving aid for years from foreign scientists on building and testing nuclear weapons; according to the intelligence, former Soviet nuclear scientist Vyacheslav Danilenko played a crucial role in helping Iran develop the kind of high-precision detonator needed to trigger a nuclear reaction, and test its performance, the newspaper reports. Allegedly, the Iranian government has already incorporated the device into their warhead design.
The report suggests that experts in Pakistan and North Korea may also have provided help, according to The Post.
U.N. officials told the newspaper that the records reinforce concerns that Iran has been experimenting with nuclear-weapons development research since 2003, when international and domestic pressure supposedly lead the country to terminate all such tests.
Iranian officials dismissed concerns stemming from the report. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's former nuclear top official, told the Mehr News Agency this weekend that the debate is “100 percent political” and that the IAEA is “under pressure from foreign powers.”
Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, also waved away apprehensions that Iran is developing nuclear technology, saying that the media is “blowing it out of proportion.”
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Paul suggested that the U.S. should be “offering friendship to [Iran]. Didn’t we talk to the Soviets? Didn’t we talk to the Chinese?”