VIENNA - A report by the United Nations nuclear watchdog next week will support allegations that Iran built a large steel container for carrying out tests with high explosives that could be used in nuclear weapons, sources briefed on the document said on Friday.I find it ironic that Israel screamed for years that Iran was building nukes and the world laughed at them. Yet they were correct. And although Sheik Obama wants to capitulate, the Israelis believe the time for talk is over.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) obtained satellite pictures of the container at Parchin, near Tehran, and other evidence that lent credence to allegations by IAEA member states that the installation was intended for nuclear-related explosives testing, the sources said.
The IAEA will also reveal evidence that Iran carried out computer modeling of a nuclear weapon, one source said.
Western diplomats say the keenly awaited report will strengthen suspicions that Tehran is seeking to develop a capability to make atomic bombs but stop short of explicitly saying it is doing so.
It was unclear when the container was built or whether it was actually used for nuclear-related work.
Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment.
Suspicions of nuclear arms work at the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran date back at least to 2004 when a prominent nuclear expert said satellite images showed it may be a site for research, testing and production of nuclear weapons.
Iran, which says its nuclear program is peaceful, has previously denied the allegations. In 2005, Iran allowed UN nuclear inspectors to visit Parchin.
The IAEA in May listed seven areas of concern regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program, including high explosives manufacture and testing and the development, manufacture and testing of explosive components.
One of the main hurdles in making an atomic bomb is designing a ring of conventional explosives used to compress atomic material in the warhead core, igniting a nuclear chain reaction. Experiments have to be carried out to test the impact of explosions on bomb components.
The IAEA report is expected to include other evidence of research and other activities that make little sense if not weapons-related, Western diplomats said.
Western powers believe Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran denies this, saying it is enriching uranium only to power reactors for electricity generation.
Any evidence of nuclear weapons activities would strengthen calls for further sanctions against Iran.
It is just a matter of time before Israel has to destroy the Iranian threat. Every nation has a right to defend itself from attack and for years Iran has threatened to "Wipe Israel Off The Map". It is time that this Bully known as Iran learn the following lesson:President Shimon Peres on Friday said that he believes Israel is closer to utilizing the military option in dealing with Iran's nuclear program than it is to finding a diplomatic solution to the threat.
In an interview with Channel 2, the president suggested that the media speculation about a potential attack on Iran may have some basis in truth. "Intelligence services in many countries are looking at the clock and warning their leaders that not much time remains. I do not know if these world leaders will act on this advice."
Peres said that Iran could be as close as six months from becoming nuclear-armed and it is Israel's role to warn the world of the danger. He suggested that the speculation about an attack on Iran may be a way of reminding the world of the Iranian threat.
Earlier on Friday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel's position on Iran has not changed, despite recent Israeli media reports of a possible strike on Iran.
Next week, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, is expected to release a report that includes evidence of Iranian nuclear research which makes little sense if not weapons related, Western diplomats said. The report, however, is expected to stop short of declaring outright that Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons.
"I propose we wait and see the IAEA report," Barak said, adding that he believes that if the UN nuclear watchdog will be "daring enough to say bluntly what they know about [Iran's] nuclear program," the world will understand the Iranian threat is international.
Speaking in an interview with Stephen Sakur on the BBC, the defense minister repeated Israel's position that Iran must be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons and that no options should be taken off the table to that end.
Meanwhile on Friday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned Iran's nuclear program and said France would not stand idly by "if Israel's existence were threatened." Sarkozy was speaking at a G20 summit of world leaders .
"Iran's behavior and this obssessional desire to acquire nuclear military (capability) is in violation of all international rules, and France condemns firmly the lack of respect for these rules," he said in the French Riviera resort of Cannes.