Fartashphoto's Blog

P-2

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on August 25, 2010

IAEA believes that the Khan deals in the 1980s and 1990s are the key to understanding the Iranian Nuclear program and whether it is peaceful or military in intent.

More evidence came in late 2004, when an Iranian walk-in intelligence source provided the United States and Germany with thousands of pages of laptop computer files that had been allegedly stolen from another Iranian. Included were drawings, diagrams and test data that seemed to relate to a number of Iranian attempts to place a device on top of a Shahab-3 missile between 2001 and 2003, which looked suspiciously like a nuclear warhead (Slightly smaller than the design A. Q. Khan provided to Libya).

Another key question is whether the Iranians are being completely honest about the work they have done on the P-2 centrifuge design which they received from Khan in the mid-1990s. The degree of Iranian evasiveness on the P-2 has raised intense suspicion that it could be at the heart of a parallel clandestine program run by the Iranian military and which remains undetected. Initially, in October 2003, Iran neglected to mention that it even had possession of any of Khan’s P-2 designs.

The P-2 mysteries are significant because of the fear that Iran might have concealed a parallel enrichment program or another plant that could operate clandestinely and that, even though it might be smaller, might be able to operate more efficiently that Natanz thanks to the use of the advanced P-2s.

The most important question is how far Iran is from so-called “point of no return,” when it has the technological capability to manufacture, assemble and run centrifuges without any need from outside input. At this point, any number of export controls, interception of deliveries, and diplomatic demarches are too late. Perhaps the second most important question is when does Israel believe this point is about to be reached.

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