IAEA Reports on New Centrifuge, Nuclear Weapon Evidence

February 22, 2008

Publication Type: 

  • Policy Briefs

On February 22, 2008, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had failed to clear up questions about military links to its nuclear work. Iran has refused to explain intelligence pointing to secret efforts to process uranium, test high explosives and work on a missile warhead design. Combined, these activities are applicable to atomic warheads, according to the Agency. The IAEA report also confirms that Iran is testing the more advanced IR-2 centrifuge with uranium gas at its Natanz pilot plant. Iran revealed that it was developing the more advanced centrifuge, which is based on Pakistan's "P-2" design, in 2006. The IR-2 has a thin rotor made of strong carbon fibers according to a report by the Institute for Science and International Security. The Agency elaborated on Iran's alleged nuclear weapon work during a Feburary 25 briefing, at which it presented new and newly declassified documents, sketches and a video of design work done to fit a nuclear warhead atop Iran's Shahab-3 missile. Iran's IAEA ambassador was present during the briefing and said the evidence was fabricated.

Read reactions and analysis from around the world:

ISIS Factsheet on the P-2/IR-2 Centrifuge: Iran Installing More Advanced Centrifuges at Natanz Pilot Enrichment Plant, 2-7-08. (PDF)

AIPAC: More Sanctions Needed as Iran Advances Uranium Enrichment, Missile Technology, 2-8-08. (PDF)

Andreas Persbo of Britain's VERTIC compares Iran's IR-2 to the Zippe centrifuge (2-19-08), and compares Iran's interest in a sub-critical centrifuge with Iraq's (2-7-08).

IAEA reports on Iran's progress in testing the IR-2 and on Iran's efforts to procure nuclear weapon-related items, 2-22-08. (PDF)

French Foreign Ministry spokesperson comments on allegations of military links to Iran's nuclear work, 2-26-08.

Israel's Institute for National Security Studies assesses the importance of the IAEA report and calls for further investigation of nuclear weapon evidence by experts outside the IAEA, INSS Insight No. 47, 2-29-08.

IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei says that the Agency will pursue its investigation of weapon work, 3-3-08.

U.S. representative to the IAEA catalogues Iran's weapon-related activities at Board of Governors meeting, 3-5-08.