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Iran planned to develop 5 nuclear warheads as early as 2003, new report says

A test-fire of the Fateh-110, an Iranian Ballistic single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile. (Hossein Velayati/Wikimedia Commons)
December 03, 2018

A new intelligence report revealed that Iran had solid plans to build at least five nuclear warheads.

In the report established by the Institute for Science and International Security, the authors outlined Iran’s plans based on an assessment of documents, computer files and images seized from the Nuclear Archive in Tehran.

“Iran intended to build five nuclear warheads, each with an explosive yield of 10 kilotons and able to be delivered by ballistic missile,” the report said.

“Iran’s initial plans show that it had achieved much more than feasibility and scientific studies relating to nuclear weapons, as the IAEA assessed in late 2015, as the Iran nuclear deal was being implemented,” the report continued.

“Iran made far more progress toward its goal of manufacturing five nuclear weapons than known before the seizure of the archives,” the report added.

The information was revealed in some 100,000 nuclear documents that Israel seized from an Iranian facility earlier this year. On Jan. 31, Israel conducted a six-and-a-half hour raid of the Tehran facility, recovering papers, photos and computer files from 32 safes.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented the collection of documents publicly in July, even permitting journalists to see and touch the documents, and provided copies to verify their authenticity after Iran denied ownership of the data.

The documents proved that Iran was much more advanced in its nuclear capabilities than global leaders previously thought. They had the capabilities in 2003 when the nuclear program was halted, although some believe they never completely ceased the activities.

“Iran had put in place by the end of 2003 the infrastructure for a comprehensive nuclear weapons program,” according to the recent report. “The evidence supports that Iran was preparing to conduct an underground test of a nuclear weapon, if necessary. The end goal was to have tested, deliverable nuclear weapons, and Iran made more progress toward that goal than known before the seizure of the archives.”

The report noted that Iran established a plan for conducting underground nuclear testing. Additionally, they were in the process of acquiring highly enriched uranium from other countries, while their own plant was designed to also produce highly enriched uranium – none of which was previously known.

“Republicans have long known that the Obama administration lied to the country about the Iran deal,” a congressional official familiar with the report told The Washington Free Beacon. “Just a few months ago PSI published documents showing they lied to Congress about enforcing sanctions and giving dollar access.”

“Now this report shows they also lied about Iran’s nuclear weapons work,” the official added. “You can expect congressional Republicans to increase pressure on the Trump administration to implement maximum pressure on Iran, which they still aren’t doing.”