Russia violated ‘91 START till end, U.S. report finds
Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican and a key voice in the START ratification debate, stated in a speech in October that Russia also violated START by its development of a multiple-warhead SS-27 missile variant that he said showed Moscow “cheated,” if not in the letter then the spirit of the 1991 treaty.
Mr. Kyl said the administration needed to tell the Senate whether the violations outlined in the 2005 report had been resolved and whether there are provisions for dealing with treaty violations with the new agreement.
On Iran’s nuclear program, the report to be released Wednesday reveals that U.S. intelligence agencies still think that Iran halted work on its nuclear-weapons program in 2003, but provides new details showing that Tehran has failed to comply with International Atomic Energy Agency controls on its extensive nuclear program.
Specifically, the report said Iran has not explained evidence showing that it is working on a nuclear warhead for the Shahab-3 missile, and tested detonators and explosives for nuclear arms.
The report said the evidence showed Iran worked on casting uranium metal into hemispheres, like those used in the pit of a nuclear bomb; evidence of work on detonating a high explosive in “hemispherical geometry,” also for a nuclear bomb; and the modification of a warhead for the Shahab 3. Iran also did underground explosives testing that appeared to be nuclear arms, the report said.
The information on Iran’s nuclear-weapons program was derived from several IAEA member-states and was “derived from multiple sources over different periods of time, is detailed in content, and appears to be generally consistent.”
The report said the nuclear-watchdog group uncovered “credible evidence that Iran has both received nuclear-weapons designs and worked indigenously on its own design.”
“Iran has refused to cooperate with the IAEA during this reporting period and serious questions remain concerning potential military dimensions,” the report said.
On North Korea, the report stated for the first time that the covert Pakistani nuclear-supplier network headed by A.Q. Khan “provided a starter kit for a highly-enriched uranium program with approximately 20 P-1 centrifuges” to Pyongyang.
The report also identified Syria’s covert nuclear reactor at Al Kibar that was bombed by Israeli warplanes in 2007, saying Syria’s actions surrounding the site suggest it was pursuing a military nuclear program. The report said, “Al Kibar was a nuclear reactor being constructed with North Korean assistance.”
“That Syria clandestinely built a nuclear reactor, apparently intended for plutonium production, without providing any information to the IAEA, indicates that Syria was likely pursuing a non-peaceful nuclear program,” the report said, noting that Damascus has refused international efforts to resolve the issue of the reactor.
A new nuclear worry identified in the report is Burma’s apparent effort to develop a nuclear program, again with North Korean assistance. The report said the United States “will continue to be alert to any indications of [Burma’s] nuclear-weapons-related activities or intentions to develop a nuclear-weapons capability.”
The Burma nuclear program began in 2007 with the sale of a Russian nuclear reactor to the military junta.
Chinese state-run companies were also cited in the report for continuing illicit transfers of nuclear technology and equipment with weapons applications.
“During the reporting period, foreign entities continued to attempt to acquire nuclear-related materials and dual-use equipment from Chinese suppliers,” the report said.
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