Proof that Iran’s nuclear program has military aims?

Iran swears up and down that its ongoing uranium enrichment is strictly for the civilian benefits of attaining nuclear power, but the rest of the world doesn’t exactly believe this front. And with good reason – bogus arrests, violent rule of Islamic law, undemocratic elections, protest shut-downs and closed door trials.

Iran Ticking Bomb CartoonBut now, the world has yet another – seemingly more concrete – reason to distrust Iran. Published in The Times of London on Monday was a memo apparently leaked from the heart of Iran’s nuclear program, describing the country’s four-year plan to test a neutron initiator, otherwise known as a bomb trigger.

Rest assured, there is no civilian use for a neutron initiator, but of course the Iranians have dismissed the memo as an attempt to frame Iran. In fact, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast referred to the incident as a “scenario” dreamt up by the West.

The documents, whose authenticity and significance the U.S. plans to investigate, apparently includes a note on undercover testing: not only to see if the bomb trigger works but to ensure that whatever traces of uranium are left from the testing are not large enough to be detectable by the examining world.

Although U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley refused to discuss matters of intelligence, he did say, “Iran has yet to really come to… the international community and address our concerns in a meaningful way.”

According to the report in The Times, intelligence agencies dated the memo to early 2007, but the US-based Institute for International Science and Security (ISIS), that was consulted before the piece ran, has cautioned against jumping to conclusions. ISIS believes further document assessment is necessary before the memo can be accurately authenticated, dated and fit into the context of Iran’s nuclear development history.

The timing of the article, though, supports Hillary Clinton’s bid for additional UN sanctions against Iran, and highlights how close Iran is to losing its chance at a diplomatic approach to nuclear and other issues: 2009’s very close to being over…

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