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“Pakistan Assisted Iran’s Nuclear Development”

Posted December. 22, 2003 23:07,   


The Washington Post and the New York Times each reported on December 21 and 22 that suspicions of Pakistani nuclear technology being transferred to other Middle Eastern and Asian nations are spreading as it became a known fact that Iran’s nuclear technology came from Pakistan.

Iran recently signed an additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and received the International Atomic Energy Agency’s nuclear inspections, but suspicions still linger regarding its nuclear development.

Quoting U.N. nuclear inspectors’ reports and U.S. and European experts, the Washington Post and New York Times reported that the Pakistani government questioned three of its nuclear scientists two weeks ago with the U.S. regarding their assistance to Iran’s nuclear technology development.

Those questioned were the closest associates to Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is referred to as “the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb.” There have been many allegations that Professor Khan was involved in handing nuclear technology to North Korea, but the Pakistani government rejected the request from western nations to investigate him.

The decisive evidence leading to the Iran-Pakistan nuclear connection is Iran’s centrifuge used to enrich uranium. According to U.S. officials and weapons experts, this device is almost identical to the one Pakistan used at its early stages of nuclear development. During the 1970s, Pakistan produced its own centrifuge by misappropriating centrifugal technology from URENCO, a consortium of Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Experts say it has been confirmed that Iran’s centrifuge shows signs of previous use, and the enriched uranium produced from it matches the uranium produced in Pakistan.

“This evidence supports the speculation that Iran got its hands on discarded parts and blueprints of Pakistan centrifuges,” says Gary Samore, senior director for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration.

Experts say that Iran overcame technical difficulties in its nuclear development process by acquiring technology and parts from Pakistan in 1987, and as a result, it now possesses the ability to produce 20 atomic bombs a year.

The Pakistani government, which is an ally to the U.S. in its war on terrorism after the 9/11, strongly denies involvement, insisting “the government took no part in the nuclear technology transference. There has been no transferring of nuclear technology, especially since President Musharraf’s inauguration.”