China reveals Iran's nuclear secrets to UN|
By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:51am BST 04/04/2008
China has betrayed one its closest allies by
providing the United Nations with intelligence on Iran's efforts to
acquire nuclear technology, diplomats have revealed.
Concern over Tehran's secretive research programme
has increased in recent weeks after officials at the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog, discovered
that Iran had obtained information on how to manufacture
A heavy-water nuclear facility in Arak and a security
guard at an Iranian nuclear enrichment
Beijing is believed to have decided to assist the
inspectors after documents seized from Iranian officials included
blueprints for "shaping" uranium metal into warheads, the testing of
high explosives used to detonate radioactive material and the
procurement of dual-use technology.
Much of the new material was presented to the
governors of the Vienna-based IAEA in February. That meeting is said
to have triggered China's change of heart.
Ahmadinejad on National Nuclear
Diplomats described Beijing's decision to provide
material related to Iran to the IAEA as a potentially significant
Chinese designs for centrifuges that refine
uranium into a "weaponised" state have been found in Iran but these
are thought to have come through a network controlled by the
disgraced Pakistani scientist AQ Khan.
John Bolton, the
former American ambassador to the United Nations, said suspicions
over the leakage of technology from China to Iran had long centred
on uranium enrichment technology and their bilateral ballistic
A spokesman for the IAEA said it did not
comment on intelligence it received from its members.
Beijing has long-established ties with Iran's
clerical regime and has emerged as one of the country's biggest
customers for oil and gas.
It has allied itself with Tehran's attempts to
prevent the IAEA referring Iran to the UN Security Council, which
can impose sanctions.
China has not used its veto powers to block US and
British sponsored sanctions but it has ensured the measures were
The council has levied three rounds of financial
sanctions on Iran in an attempt to force the country to declare all
its nuclear activities.
IAEA weapons inspectors report that Iran has not
provided full co-operation.
An American intelligence assessment judged it likely
that Iran stopped efforts to produce a nuclear weapon in 2003 but
there are strong fears it has resumed the work under President
Michael Hayden, the director of the CIA, said this
week that he believed that Iran is still developing a nuclear bomb.
Meanwhile, Israel has accused Iran of setting up
listening stations in Syria to eavesdrop on its military
Original article: Worthy News - Telegraph
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