Report: Iran Building Powerful Nuclear Device
Iran is planning to build a nuclear bomb with at least triple the force of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II, diagrams obtained by the Associated Press indicates. According to AP, the diagrams were first discovered by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) scientists after an inspection of an Iranian nuclear facility. The document was published by the AP Tuesday after, the news agency said, it was leaked by officials critical of the way the West has been handling the Iran issue.
The diagrams discovered by the IAEA show Iranian scientists calculating the desired "nuclear explosive yield" in a device they were apparently working on. IAEA inspectors described the diagrams in a report, and a senior official who is working with the Geneva-based UN organization confirmed that the diagrams obtained by AP were the same ones mentioned in the report.
The diagrams showed a scientific calculation of the expected yield of a nuclear device, with a maximum force of 50 kilotons, experts who saw the AP diagrams said. There was no possibility that the diagrams referred to a process other than construction of a nuclear weapon, the experts said.
If Iran is indeed designing a nuclear weapon with a 50 kiloton yield, it will be significantly stronger than the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during World War II, which were only 15 kilotons powerful. Nuclear weapons held by the U.S., Russia, and other countries are significantly stronger than a bomb with a 50 kiloton yield.
Iran, meanwhile, said Tuesday that it had filed complaints with the United Nations over what it said were violations of its airspace by U.S. planes. Iran said that U.S. planes and drones had violated Iranian airspace eight times in October.
“In two separate letters to the United Nations secretary general (Ban Ki-moon) and the United Nations Security Council, Iran has mentioned the cases of violation of its airspace and has called on these international bodies to warn U.S. officials about this issue so that we will not witness the repetition of such incidents and the violation of Iranian airspace in the future,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Tuesday. Any country that violates Iranian airspace, he said, could expect “strong measures” to be taken against their planes or drones.