By Mark Heinrich and Francois Murphy
40 minutes ago
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has told the U.N. nuclear watchdog that it received a black-market document with partial instructions for making the core of a nuclear bomb, diplomats said on Friday.
But a senior official close to the International Atomic Energy Agency, some diplomats and a U.S. nuclear expert urged caution over the disclosure in the latest IAEA report on Iran's nuclear project, saying further investigation was needed.
"Iran's full transparency is indispensable and overdue," IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in his confidential report to the agency's board of governors, due to meet on November 24 to consider again whether to send Iran's case to the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.
The report, obtained by Reuters, said the IAEA was given documents including one "on the casting and machining of enriched, natural and depleted uranium into hemispherical forms." One European diplomat described it as a "cookbook" for the enriched uranium core of a nuclear weapon.
But the senior official close to the U.N. nuclear agency said: "We are not taking a position as to what it (document) is. We are still in the assessment stage."
A diplomat close to the IAEA called the document "damaging" as it dealt with an important aspect of making an atomic weapon.
"But this is not the blueprint the Libyans had," he said, referring to a Chinese bomb design given to Tripoli before it renounced its weapons-of-mass destruction program in 2003.
A former U.N. weapons inspector, David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, said the document fell far short of a building manual for a bomb core.
"Iran has gone from saying it got nothing on this subject to (saying it got) a little bit," Albright said. "But the question remains: did Iran get more than it admitted to?"
Tehran told the IAEA the document had come to it unsolicited from people linked to the black market set up by disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan -- a point officials close to IAEA said warranted further investigation.
"This (document) opens new concerns about weaponisation that Iran has failed to address," the U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, Gregory Schulte, said in a statement.
"This has to have a weapons use ... The only question is 'Did they go looking for this'? The Iranians say they didn't," said another Western diplomat.
No, it just appeared in their e-mail box between the prescription drug and penis spam, you moron.