Why Iran Already Has the Bomb

Entry after entry here has delved into the high probability that Iran already has the bomb. One morning, people will wake up to an in-your-face announcement from the Ayatollah or Ahmadinejad with the news de jour. 99% of the public will be shocked and bewildered about how this was ever allowed to happen. Meanwhile, the remaining 1% continuing to analyze and be ahead of the curve, knowing the (un)intelligence community is in shambles, slow and always “shocked” at every advancement our enemies make, will surely know that the next world war may not be far behind.

Hopefully the assessment is wrong and hopefully the Iranian regime isn’t even close, but they show no signs of stopping. Sadly, this still means one of two undesirable outcomes: 1) War before the Persians acquire nukes, or 2) War after they acquire nukes.

The White House and President Obama’s supporters insist that he’s making his first trip to Israel next month to assure the Jewish state that if push comes to shove with Iran, he’ll have Israel’s back. But North Korea’s nuclear test Tuesday morning could indicate that it’s already too late for that. If North Korea has the bomb, then for all practical purposes Iran does, too. If that’s so, then Obama’s policy of prevention has failed, and containment—a policy that the president has repeatedly said is not an option—is in fact all Washington has.

If this sounds hyperbolic, consider the history of extensive North Korean-Iranian cooperationon a host of military and defense issues, including ballistic missiles and nuclear development, that dates back to the 1980s. This cooperation includes North Korean sales of technology and arms, like the BM-25, a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching Western Europe; Iran’s Shahab 3 missile is based on North Korea’s Nodong-1 and is able to reach Israel. Iran has a contigent of Iranian weapons engineers and defense officials stationed in North Korea. Meantime, North Korean scientists visit Iran. And last fall, both countries signed a memorandum of understanding regarding scientific, academic, and technological issues.

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North Korea tested Iranian warhead or “dirty bomb” in 2010 for $55m

German and Japanese intelligence sources Monday, March 5, confirmed – and qualified – to debkafile reports in the German Der Spiegel and Welt am Sonntag that Western intelligence had known for 11 months that at least one of North Korea’s covert nuclear tests in 2010 was carried out on an Iranian radioactive bomb or nuclear warhead.
Those sources report five facts are known for sure:

1. North Korea carried out two covert underground nuclear explosions in mid-April and around May 11 of 2010 equivalent to 50- 200 tonnes of TNT.

2. Two highly lethal heavy hydrogen isotopes, deuterium and tritium,  typical of a nuclear fission explosion and producing long-term contamination of the atmosphere, were detected and analyzed by  Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBOTO) monitoring stations in South Korea, Japan and Russia.

3. The presence of tritium in one of the tests led several intelligence agencies watching North Korea’s nuclear program and its longstanding links with Iran and Syria to examine the possibility that Pyongyang had tested the internal mechanism of a nuclear warhead on Iran’s behalf.  This strongly indicated to German and Japanese intelligence that Iran had already developed the nuclear warhead’s outer shell and attained its weaponization.

4.  Another possibility examined was that North Korea had tested an Iranian “dirty bomb” – i.e. a conventionally detonated device containing nuclear substances. Tritium would boost its range, force and lethality.

This was one of the conclusions of atmospheric scientist Larsk-Erik De Geer of the Swedish Defense Research Agency in Stockholm, who spent a year studying the data collected by various CTBOTO stations tracking the North Korean explosions.

On February 3, De Greer published some of his findings and conclusions in Nature Magazine. His paper will appear in the April/May issue of the Science and Global Security Journal.

5. The Japanese and German sources found confirmation of their suspicions that North Korea had abetted Iran’s nuclear aspirations in three events:

Full article: North Korea tested Iranian warhead or “dirty bomb” in 2010 for $55m (DEBKAfile)