Iran has crossed a critical threshold which the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear agency report from Vienna omitted from the report it circulated Tuesday, Nov. 8: Not only has the Islamic Republic managed to mount nuclear warheads on its Shahab ballistic missiles, DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military and intelligence sources report, but the newly-outfitted missiles have been successfully tested four times.
The last test was conducted June 28 under cover of the "Great Prophet 6" war maneuver. This experimental launch tested the missile's performance as well as its targeting accuracy.
The only Western leader to go public on this disquieting news was the British Foreign Secretary William Hague. On June 29, under the impact of that test the day before, he dropped the information on a surprised parliament: "Iran has also been carrying out cover ballistic missile tests and rocket launches, including testing missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload in contravention of UN Resolution 1929," he said.
But the revelation never went any further. It was not picked up by any American, Western or Israeli official although Hague was a good deal more explicit and his information more up-to-date than the IAEA report.
Nuclear warheads already mounted on missiles – and tested
Our military sources report that three tests of nuclear-capable missiles were carried out between October 2010 and February 2011; the fourth mentioned by Hague in June this year. Today, Iran has in its arsenal two types of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, the Shahab-3 Kadar and the Sejil, both of them powered by solid fuel with ranges of up to 2,510 kilometers and both tested in the series beginning in October 2010.
Two Shahab tests were a success; the Sejil failed.
Shahab-3 Kadar was successfully tested again in June.
All these experiments focused on the performance and accuracy of the nuclear warheads.
Our military sources report that after launching the 27-kilogram Omid earth satellite in February 2009, the Iranians knew they had a missile capable of a 330-kilogram payload capacity.
From June, 2011, Tehran advanced to operational missiles capable of carrying nuclear payloads to any point on the world map. Its nuclear program now concentrates on enhancing their precision.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly's intelligence sources stress that Yukiya Amano, head of the UN nuclear agency, agreed to keep those tests and their grave significance dark. It is not by chance that the report he authored covered the state of Iran's nuclear program in 2008 updated to the end of 2009, but no later. Its language on Iran's nuclear missiles is vague, referring to "Documentation of at least 14 progressive design iterations for a missile warhead to deliver an atomic warhead to a distant target.
Time bought for Obama's hard choices
Had the IAEA paper been updated up to 2010 and 2011, it could not have avoided disclosing that the "atomic warhead" had by then matured into the successfully-tested payload of ballistic missiles.
The decision to abbreviate the report was taken, according to our Washington sources, during a secret visit Amano paid to the White House on Oct. 29, 2011. He sat down with National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and together they decided to cut out of the final report the last two years in which Iran's nuclear program matured into a weapon capability – even though they knew this for a fact – so as to buy President Barack Obama another six to ten months for the necessary hard decisions.
After perusing the document, therefore, the Western media were unable to say anything more definite than that the IAEA does not claim Iran has mastered all the necessary technologies or estimate how long it would take for Iran to be able to produce a nuclear weapon.
Although US, British, German, French, Dutch and Israeli intelligence know perfectly well that Iran is already armed with operational nuclear weapons, concealment of this knowledge gives President Obama a free hand to break the news on the world at a time of his choosing.
It also gives Iran time to stage a nuclear test, from which point there is no return.