Iran’s Nuclear Smuggling Legacy: Finders Keepers?

In sorting through Iran’s nuclear supplies, P5+1 must decide how to handle illegally gained materials and equipment
November 18, 2014

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


Leonard S. Spector

Author's Title: 

Executive Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Washington DC


Yale Global Online

WASHINGTON: As the clock ticks towards the November 24 deadline for concluding a deal with Iran to shut down its weapons-related program, a critical dimension of Iran’s nuclear misconduct is at risk of being overlooked: What to do with the smuggled components that enabled Iran to advance to the threshold of nuclear weapons?      

Iran's sensitive uranium-enrichment program – the program that could be most rapidly adapted to build nuclear weapons – is profoundly contaminated with illegally obtained materials, equipment and technology without which it could not operate.  

Crucial illegally garnered goods include high-strength aluminum, steel and carbon fiber needed for Iran’s uranium-enrichment centrifuges, themselves; pressure transducers for managing the flow of uranium gas during the enrichment process; and special lubricants. These dual-use goods are subject to export controls in their countries of origin and to a UN Security Council embargo – restrictions that Iran has evaded repeatedly and systematically for years as it has smuggled out this nuclear contraband.

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See full text at Yale Global Online:  Iran's Nuclear Smuggling Legacy:  Finders Keepers?