Analysis

Iran: Secret IAEA Documents; Mixed News on Nuclear Program
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in 2007. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
October 18, 2011
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
The Obama administration’s request that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) release “classified” documents on Iran’s nuclear program has experts scratching their heads about what the IAEA could know that the U.S. does not already know. Meanwhile, two new reports by a U.S. think tank concluded that although Iran’s nuclear centrifuges appear to have suffered from high breakdown rates, they could still be used to produce weapons-grade uranium for nuclear weapons.

The Obama administration wants the IAEA to release “classified intelligence” showing that Iran is designing and experimenting with nuclear weapons technology, according to the New York Times.  No details were provided to the Times on the nature of this information although some of it was described as new.  The Times also said that the Obama administration has evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program that it has discussed with U.S. allies but has not made public because of the blowback over the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003.

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