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Iran's Soviet Bomb-Maker Who Wasn't

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Danilenko clearly explained that the purpose of his work in Iran was to help the development of a nanodiamond industry in the country.

The IAEA report states that the "foreign expert" was in Iran from 1996 to about 2002, "ostensibly to assist in the development of a facility and techniques for making ultra dispersed diamonds (UDDs) or nanodiamonds"... That wording suggests that nanodiamonds were merely a cover for his real purpose in Iran.

The report says the expert "also lectured on explosive physics and its applications," without providing any further detail about what applications were involved.

The fact that the IAEA and Albright were made aware of Danilenko's nanodiamond work in Iran before embracing the "former Soviet nuclear weapons specialist" story makes their failure to make any independent inquiry into his background even more revealing.

The tale of a Russian nuclear weapons scientist helping construct an "implosion system" for a nuclear weapon is the most recent iteration of a theme that the IAEA introduced in its May 2008 report, which mentioned a five-page document describing experimentation with a "complex multipoint initiation system to detonate a substantial amount of high explosives in hemispherical geometry" and to monitor the detonation.

Iran acknowledged using "exploding bridge wire" detonators such as those mentioned in that document for conventional military and civilian applications. But it denounced the document, along with the others in the "alleged studies" collection purporting to be from an Iranian nuclear weapons research program, as fakes.

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Careful examination of the "alleged studies" documents has revealed inconsistencies and other anomalies that give evidence of fraud. But the IAEA, the United States and its allies in the IAEA, continue to treat the documents as though there were no question about their authenticity.

The unnamed member state that informed the agency about Danilenko's alleged experience as a Soviet nuclear weapons scientist is almost certainly Israel, which has been the source of virtually all the purported intelligence on Iranian work on nuclear weapons over the past decade.

(Israel is a United Nations "member" state, although it has refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and thus does not subject its secret nuclear weapons arsenal to IAEA supervision. Iran did sign the treaty and does grant IAEA inspectors some access to its nuclear-related facilities, which Iran insists are for peaceful purposes only.)

Israel has made no secret of its determination to influence world opinion on the Iranian nuclear program by disseminating information to governments and news media, including purported Iran government documents. Israeli foreign ministry and intelligence officials told journalists Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins about the special unit of Mossad dedicated to that task at the very time the allegedly fraudulent documents were being produced.

In an interview in September 2008, Albright said Olli Heinonen, then deputy director for safeguards at the IAEA, had told him that a document from a member state had convinced him that the "alleged studies" documents were genuine. Albright said the state was "probably Israel."

The Jerusalem Post's Yaakov Katz reported Wednesday that Israeli intelligence agencies had "provided critical information used in the report," the purpose of which was to "push through a new regime of sanctions against Tehran." ...

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Gareth Porter (born 18 June 1942, Independence, Kansas) is an American historian, investigative journalist and policy analyst on U.S. foreign and military policy. A strong opponent of U.S. wars in Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, he has also (more...)
 

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