Monday, October 10, 2005

Iran Designs Nuke Warhead For Shihab-3

Middle East Newsline:
Iran was said to have designed a nuclear warhead for the Shihab-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile.

The United States has briefed several nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency of an Iranian program to develop a nuclear warhead for the Shihab-3. Diplomatic sources said the U.S. briefers asserted that from 2001 to 2003 Iran designed and developed a circular warhead that could detonate at an altitude meant to ensure optimal damage.

An empty nuclear warhead was said to have been installed on the Shihab-3 for two missile tests in mid-2004. The sources said the warhead appeared similar to a Soviet-based intercontinental missile deployed by Moscow in the 1960s.

The sources said that in August the U.S. delegation briefed such countries as China, India, Russia, and South Africa ahead of last month's IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna. They said the briefing helped persuade some members to either support or abstain in the vote on a British resolution to refer the Iranian nuclear file to the United Nations Security Council. India supported the British resolution, which did not set a date for the submission of the Iranian file.
So if Iran has the weapon design, the ability to produce plutonium and the means to deliver the bomb, what are they lacking? If this report can be confirmed it is a very disturbing development.