IRAN

Secret Docs Confirm Nuclear Development

Der Spiegel Online obtained intelligence documents revealing covert nuclear development operating under a secret military branch in Tehran. New information from sources within Iran and high-ranking defectors shows the West is at an increased risk of attack, worrying experts from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran has a secret military branch of its nuclear research program under the Defense Ministry, according to Der Spiegel’s newly acquired documents. The forces reportedly also have a secret leadership structure, according to those who’ve read the intelligence dossier, leaving them convinced Tehran’s government has “well advanced” plans to develop a bomb. Experts predict Iranian scientists could produce a truck-size, primitive version of the explosive this year. But until they can compress its size (which could happen sometime between 2012 and 2014), the bomb is not yet a threat. Iranians also reportedly performed non-nuclear tests of a detonating mechanism for a nuclear bomb over six years ago, which proved effective, leading the government to classify the technology as “feasible.”