Iran’s Secret Bid for 5 North Korean Miniaturized Nuclear Warheads

North Korea’s boast on March 8 of its ability to manufacture nuclear warheads small enough to fit onto ballistic missiles attracted eager interest in Tehran, DEBKA Weekly reports.
So, while US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry struggled to preserve the nuclear accord Iran signed with the world powers, and stall new sanctions to punish Iran for test-firing nuclear-capable Emad ballistic missiles, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard Corps appeared ready to leave the nuclear deal in the dust and move on.
Indeed, they are deep in secret negotiations with Pyongyang on two alternatives – either for the technology for installing nuclear warheads on missiles or five complete warheads.
The boast came from Kim Jong-un in person. He announced the “tremendous” achievement while visiting nuclear scientists. ”The nuclear warheads have been standardized to be fit for ballistic missiles by miniaturizing them,” KCNA quoted him as saying. “This can be called (a) true nuclear deterrent….Koreans can do anything if they have a will."
While Kim’s eye was on the US-North Korean exercise for practicing marine landings on North Korean beaches, his sales talks was aimed at Iran.
DEBKA Weekly’s intelligence sources report that the ayatollah swallowed the bait. Inferring that with North Korean technology, the Islamic Republic could do anything too, he sent negotiators post-haste to Pyongyang to bid a huge fortune of $8-10 billion for five of the new miniaturized warheads and/or the technology for their manufacture.
The Iranian delegation was authorized to assure the vendors that the money was ready in hand from formerly sanctioned funds that had been released by US and European financial institutions.
Before clinching a deal, Tehran wanted to be sure that North Korea did indeed possess the special warhead technology and that it was operational.
But negotiations have since advanced to the point of discussing how to transfer the goods to Iran undetected by spy satellites or other US surveillance measures designed to fasten onto radioactive materials transported by plane or ship.
They considered bringing over to the Islamic Republic complete teams of North Korean specialist nuclear engineers and technicians, or alternatively, sending Iranian specialists to Pyongyang to collect the technology.
With this transaction in the works, Iranian officials are throwing out hints about abandoning the nuclear accord altogether.
After meeting British Prime Minister David Cameron in London on March 16, Iranian president’s chief of staff, Mohammed Nahavandian said in a speech,“After this nuclear deal, there is a real, serious opening up in Iran for economic relations. If it does not happen, and tangible results do not follow, the damage will be out of any calculation.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi put it more bluntly, when he told a group of officials in Tehran on March 8: “If our interests are not met under the nuclear deal, there will be no reason for us to continue.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email