International inspectors from the United Nations have reportedly found new evidence of nuclear activity in Iran that the nation has not reported—in violation of its international obligations — and that could be indicative of work on making nuclear weapons.
The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discovered the “new evidence of undeclared nuclear activities” at two sites during inspections last fall, The Wall Street Journal reported, according to multiple diplomats briefed on the situation. The two samples “contained traces of radioactive material” that they believe “could indicate Iran has undertaken work on nuclear weapons, based on where it was found.” The report did not state what specifically was discovered at the two sites.
Iran, which blocked the investigators from inspecting the two sites for more than half of last year, has also reportedly threatened to restrict inspectors ability to access sites later in the coming weeks.
“The IAEA listed in a report in June questions it was asking Iran to clarify on a range of work that could be used for nuclear weapons. One suspicion was Iranian drilling of a uranium metal disc that could be used to create material for a neutron initiator, experts say, a key component of a nuclear weapon,” the report said. “A second suspicion was that nuclear material had been introduced at a site where Iran may have tested high explosives that can be used to detonate a nuclear weapon.”
“The agency is also asking Iran about another undeclared site where illicit uranium conversion and processing may have taken place,” the report added. “All the suspected activities took place in the early 2000s or earlier, according to the agency. Two of the sites were razed years ago. Another site was sanitized by Iran in 2019, the IAEA reported. The IAEA said it has not ruled out that materials from this nuclear work have been used more recently.”
David Albright, a former weapons inspector and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, told The Wall Street Journal that the discovery of the radioactive materials does, in fact, “have undeclared nuclear material, despite its denials” and that it “indicate[s] that Iran did have a nuclear weapons program in the past.”
In 2017, nuclear weapons expert Dr. Peter Vincent Pry told The Daily Wire that he believes that Iran already has nuclear weapons based on numerous indicators from the IAEA’s reports:
“Even the IAEA in their 2011 report, if people would read it, found things that were so alarming … there’s a virtual smoking gun that Iran already has the bomb,” Pry said. “The IAEA was reporting it found prior to 2003 that Iran was already manufacturing bridge wire detonators, neutron initiators, they had done an implosion test already, they had done 14 different designs correct for a nuclear warhead to see if they could fit the psychics package for a nuclear warhead into the reentry vehicle for the Shahab-3 high explosive warhead.”
Pry said it was blatantly obvious that Iran most likely already has nuclear weapons, saying that “anyone with half a brain” could see it.
“Because when we were doing things like that back in the Manhattan project days when we were working with 1930s and 1940s aero technology,” Pry continued. “When the United States was doing implosion tests and building bridge wire detonators, and neutron initiators, we were within 3-6 months of getting the bomb.”
“It’s just implausible that Iran before 2003 was at that stage and then never crossed the finish line,” Pry concluded.
The news comes after the head of U.S. Strategic Command warned in an article this week that the U.S. needed to shift the “principal assumption” it uses to approach nations that have nuclear weapons, specifically Russia and China, from “‘nuclear employment is not possible’ to ‘nuclear employment is a very real possibility,’ and act to meet and deter that reality.”