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March 4, 2007

UK Report: Military strikes could speed Iran’s development of nuclear weapons

Washington DC – Military strikes, instead of setting back Iran’s nuclear program, could actually speed up their production of a nuclear weapon, according to a new report written by one of the UK’s leading nuclear scientists published Monday. The report shows that following an armed attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran could change the nature of its program to assemble a small number of devices relatively quickly.

The report is written by Dr. Frank Barnaby, who worked as a weapons scientist at the headquarters of the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (Aldermaston) during the development of Britain’s own nuclear weapons, and is published by Oxford Research Group, one of the UK’s leading global security think tanks.

“If Iran is moving towards a nuclear weapons capacity it is doing so relatively slowly, most estimates put it at least five years away. However attacking Iran – far from setting back their progress towards a bomb – would almost certainly lead to a fast-track program to develop a small number of nuclear devices as quickly as possible. It would be a bit like deciding to build a car from spare parts instead of building the entire car factory. Put simply, military attacks could speed Iran’s progress to a nuclear bomb,” said the report’s author Dr Barnaby.

The report’s conclusions are backed by Dr. Hans Blix, the former head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In a foreword to the report, he says: “Armed attacks on Iran would very likely lead to the result they were meant to avoid – the building of nuclear weapons within a few years.”

Click here to download full report.

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