November 2, 2011
A report by the UN’s nuclear watchdog due to be circulated around the world next week will provide fresh evidence of a possible Iranian nuclear weapons programme, bringing the Middle East a step closer to a devastating new conflict, say diplomats.
The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the latest of a series of quarterly bulletins on Iran’s activities, but this one will contain an unprecedented level of detail on research and experiments carried out in Iran in recent years, which western officials allege could only be for the design and development of a nuclear warhead. “This will be a game-changer in the Iranian nuclear dossier,” a western official predicted. “It is going to be hard for even Moscow or Beijing to downplay its significance.”
The key passage of the “safeguards report” will be a summary of all the evidence collected over the years by UN weapons inspectors, including a substantial amount of hitherto unpublished data pointing to work in the past seven years.