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To: DoctorZIn; *Bush Doctrine Unfold
How Iran spilled the beans implicating Pakistan - see also and

WASHINGTON: Until the middle of January this year, Iranian officials continued to insist that they obtained sensitive centrifuge drawings and components through “intermediaries” and that they did not know the original source of the items.

According to David Albright and Corey Hinderstein of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), Iran had many other important suppliers. Individuals and companies in Europe and the Middle East also played a key role in supplying Iran’s centrifuge programme. China was the most important supplier to Iran’s programme to produce uranium compounds, including uranium hexafluoride, the highly corrosive gas used in centrifuges. Although Iran encountered many difficulties in making and operating centrifuges, postponing by many years the construction of a pilot centrifuge plant, it appears to have secretly achieved self-sufficiency in centrifuge manufacturing by the mid and late 1990s.

The ISIS experts said although Western intelligence agencies detected many of Iran’s sensitive procurements, they missed some key ones. Because it had only incomplete information, the United States had trouble convincing its allies until 2002 or 2003 that Iran’s effort to build secret gas centrifuge facilities had reached an advanced state. Lacking actionable information or intrusive inspections, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was unable to determine until recently that Iran had significantly violated its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Mr Albright and Mr Hinderstein said that in 1987, Iran made a significant breakthrough, obtaining a complete set of centrifuge drawings and some centrifuge components. This specific procurement may have been part of a much larger package that helped Iran understand and build centrifuges. “Armed with component specifications and drawings, Iran would be able to design and implement a strategy to develop a reliable centrifuge and create a manufacturing infrastructure to make thousands of centrifuges. It would be able to find foreign companies to make specific components, often unwittingly. In parallel, it could locate companies that would sell the equipment Iran needed to make the components itself,” they pointed out.

The ISIS team said Iran acquired drawings of a modified variant of an early-generation Urenco centrifuge built by the Netherlands. Some experts familiar with these drawings have assessed that, based on the design’s materials, dimensions and tolerances it is a modified precursor to the Dutch M4 centrifuge. IAEA inspectors noticed that someone modified the design in distinctive ways. In addition, the original drawings were shown to inspectors and their labels are in English, not Dutch or German. According to intelligence information, the design resembles one built by Pakistan in the 1980s and early 1990s that is sometimes called the P1. In addition, the centrifuge components Iran bought match those bought by Pakistan. There was other evidence that pointed to Pakistan as the source of the drawings and of at least some of the components. Much of the highly enriched uranium that the IAEA found in Iran by taking environmental samples may be consistent with material produced in Pakistan.

Last autumn, Iran provided the IAEA with a list of five middlemen and company officials who, it said, provided the drawings and other key items. Iran characterised these middlemen, who are European and Middle Eastern, as putting together orders—buying items from various companies and delivering them to Iran.. Iran’s statement to the IAEA implied that one or more of the three Germans who were identified as middlemen obtained a classified centrifuge design from Pakistan and sold it to Iran. Mr Albright and Mr Hinderstein said that in late 2003 Iran provided the IAEA with a long list of equipment suppliers, including when the equipment was purchased. Iran has also not removed or otherwise hidden nameplates that contain company names and serial numbers. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, many of the items Iran wanted were loosely controlled by national or international export controls. Between 1993 and 1995, it received enough components through middlemen to build 500 centrifuges. It is from centrifuges made from these imported components that traces of highly enriched uranium have been found by the IAEA, at both the site at Natanz and at Kalaye Electric in Tehran. —Khalid Hasan
5 posted on 02/11/2004 1:30:24 AM PST by risk
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To: risk
The dangers of Gaddafi
(Filed: 11/02/2004)

It is a median position perfectly in tune with Tony Blair's determination to straddle transatlantic divisions. In receiving the Libyan foreign minister in Downing Street yesterday, he was rewarding Muammar Gaddafi for abandoning plans to develop weapons of mass destruction.

That concession, announced last December, was a tremendous coup for American and British diplomats, backed by the demonstration in Iraq of their willingness to use military power against rogue states. In dealing with Libya, Britain has taken the lead in offering incentives, from re-establishing diplomatic relations to agreeing to a meeting between the Prime Minister and Col Gaddafi. Washington, by contrast, abstained on the vote authorising the lifting of United Nations sanctions and has kept its own embargo in place, pending what George W Bush has called "verification of concrete steps" towards disarmament.

As with Iran and Syria, Mr Blair, while staying in close touch with the Americans, has adopted a more conciliatory approach. This plays well with those within the Labour Party and the European Union who would damn the Prime Minister as being Mr Bush's poodle.

Yet Mr Blair's record of "constructive engagement" with recalcitrant Islamic states is not impressive. The reformers in Iran, on whom Britain pinned its hopes, appear to be heading for defeat in next week's parliamentary elections, and the promise of change in Syria offered by the death of Hafiz al-Assad has not been fulfilled by his son, Bashar.

Nobody would deny that Col Gaddafi has travelled a long way since his designation by Ronald Reagan as "the mad dog of the Middle East": the surrender of the Lockerbie suspects, compensation for the victims, renunciation of terrorism, and now the abandonment of WMD.

Even so, Britain has still to receive a satisfactory explanation of the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984. And although the regime in Tripoli has changed, it remains a dictatorship with a poor human rights record. Taking a leaf from Washington's book, the Prime Minister should beware lest his enthusiasm for the middle way runs ahead of reality.
6 posted on 02/11/2004 2:00:29 AM PST by risk
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To: swarthyguy
ping - the Iranians may have divulged Pakistan's nook proliferation.
9 posted on 02/11/2004 2:17:36 AM PST by risk
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