Pakistan Aided Iran With Centrifuge Technology – Revisited

After a bit of reading, I have a couple of things to add to “Jeffrey’s post”: on Doug Jehl’s Nov.24 NYT “article”:

The first two items are previous public statements from some pretty high-ranking US officials on Pakistan’s assistance to Iran.

First, in a speech to a G-Town audience last February, then-DCI George Tenet “implied”: that the Khan network had supplied Iran with centrifuge technology:

bq. [W]e discovered the extent of Khan’s hidden network. We tagged the proliferators. We detected the network, stretching across four continents, offering its wares to countries like North Korea and Iran…

bq. ***

bq. Through this unrelenting effort we confirm the network was delivering such things as illicit uranium-enrichment centrifuges.

Second, President Bush “said”: later that month:

bq. Khan and his associates provided Iran and Libya and North Korea with designs for Pakistan’s older centrifuges, as well as designs for more advanced and efficient models. The network also provided these countries with components, and in some cases, with complete centrifuges.

Third, Jehl is a bit misleading when he writes that the CIA report says that the Khan network supplied Iran with nuclear “weapons components.”

The report, however, is actually referring to gas centrifuge components, not weapons components. Needless to say, centrifuges are not weapons.

To be fair, Jehl does say that the report “does not say explicitly whether Mr. Khan’s network sold Iran complete plans for building a warhead.” But I think that sentence implies that the report says Iran acquired parts for a nuclear weapon. He should have been more careful.

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