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Tempest over an Iran Military Site

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That was a reference to Vlachyslav Danilenko, a Ukrainian scientist who has acknowledged having lectured in Iran on theoretical physics and having helped the country build a cylinder for production of nano-diamonds, which was his research specialty. However, Danilenko has firmly denied ever having done any work related to nuclear weapons.

The claim that the dimensions of the putative bomb test chamber at Parchin could be gleaned from a publication by Danilenko is implausible. The report said the bomb containment chamber at Parchin was "designed to contain the detonation of 70 kilograms of high explosives." Danilenko's patented 1992 design for a cylinder for nano-diamond production, however, was built to contain only 10 kg of explosives.

Former IAEA weapons inspector and nuclear weapons expert Robert Kelley has pointed out, moreover, that a container for only 70 kg of explosives could not possibly have been used for hydrodynamic testing of a nuclear weapon design.

The negotiations on a "framework" for Iran's cooperation with the IAEA recall the negotiation of a "work program" in August 2007 aimed at resolving a series of issues on which the IAEA Safeguards Department suspected links to nuclear weapons. The issues included experiments involving the extraction of polonium-210, plutonium experiments and possible military control of the Gchine uranium mine.

In previous years, Iran had failed to provide sufficient information to overcome those suspicions. But after the negotiation of the "work program," Iran began to move with dispatch to provide documentation aimed at clearing up the six remaining issues. The IAEA acknowledged that all six of the issues had been effectively resolved in two reports in late 2007 and early 2008.

The reason for the dramatic change in cooperation was simple: the IAEA had pledged that, in return for Iran's resolving the six issues, "the implementation of safeguards in Iran will be conducted in a routine manner." That was seen as a significant step toward finally getting a clean bill of health from the agency.

But the IAEA instead then began focusing its questioning entirely on the purported Iranian documents of unknown origin and doubtful authenticity which the IAEA called the "alleged studies."

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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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