Iran houses a vast capability for Nuclear Weapons, and its program has come under scrutiny by governments such as the United States, and organizations such as the United Nations. However, since the early days of the program, the intention has been to craft nuclear weapons, according to a newly released report by Israeli Intelligence.
The archive was shown to several governments and revealed that several governmental agencies across the world took part in Iran’s Nuclear program. The archive was shared with the United States Government and Think Tanks alike, the Belfer Center for Science in International relations.
The report, which contains droves of documents, photographs, and videos all displayed Iran’s strategic intent. Iranian Senior Leadership approved a program to manufacture nuclear weapons and carry out an underground nuclear test. This was a coherent, organized, top-down program, not a rogue operation.
According to the Belfer Center, and the archive, if the report proves authentic, all speculations regarding Iran’s intent to create nuclear weapons can now be set aside. Iran housed a program called project AMAD, with the specific purpose of producing nuclear weapons.
The program had a set budget that was approved by a committee, that at the time, (though this is not noted in the document) included then-President Mohammad Khatami, then-Secretary of the Security Council Hassan Rouhani (now Iran’s President), and then-Minister of Defense Ali Shamkhani (now Secretary of the Security Council), among many others.
Further, the program was created with the intent of manufacturing five nuclear weapons and carrying out an underground nuclear test. Remarkably, in 2003, when Iran was ordered to “Stop Work,” Iran did not conclude all work.
Instead, the committee held several meetings and concluded all work at extensive identifiable facilities. Further, the program’s leaders decided to continue research to fill in some of the technical gaps they still believed needed work.
The release contains some 55,000 documents and 55,000 files relating to the Nuclear Program, and according to Israeli intelligence is roughly twenty percent of the entire archive.
Remarkably, according to the archive, the evidence reveals that Iran’s nuclear weapons program made substantially more progress than described in the IAEA’s “Final Assessment.” According to an earlier assessment released in November of 2011, it was revealed that Iran had a structured program until 2003.
“Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” and stating that the IAEA “has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”
Further, the IAEA updated their assessment and released a report on December 2nd, of 2015, and reiterated that before 2003, Iran housed a program that had undertaken an organized and systemic effort to move toward acquiring nuclear weapons. However, the organization judged that “these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.”
The assessment, according to the Israeli archive was not correct. Instead, at the time of the halt word order in 2003, Iran had already completed it’s nuclear weapons design and was preparing the facilities for manufacturing.
The archive also revealed that Iran housed a much more advanced nuclear weapon design than previously known. Further, Iran worked with several foreign governments to obtain the design of their nuclear weapons, refined their plans, and developed their own. Iran settled on a single frozen design as the basis for its initial weapons production.
After the release of the archive and an assessment of the materials is conducted, new policies should form in response to the newly released information regarding Iran’s Nuclear Weapons capability.
The United States’ already houses a vast policy of maximum pressure against the Iranian government; however, should the assessment prove through and through, what steps will the United States take to ensure Iran doesn’t complete the nuclear weapons program it started decades ago.