By WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: December 15, 2009
For many months now, American and European intelligence agencies have been trading theories about a spare, two-page document written in Persian that, if genuine, would strongly suggest that scientists in Iran were planning some of the final experiments needed to perfect an atom bomb. Read more....
Mohamed ElBaradei last month at his last meeting of the governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
But like so many pieces of evidence in the West’s confrontation with Tehran, the neatly written memorandum, laying out the next steps of a complex scientific process, raises as many questions as it answers.
Intelligence officials say they have yet to authenticate the document, which describes research Iran would need to conduct on an advanced technology to detonate a nuclear weapon, if it was to develop one. Even if the paper is genuine, they say, it is unclear if it provides new insights into the state of Iran’s weapons research.
Diplomats raised the possibility that the publication of the memo on The Times of London Web site late Sunday could be part of an effort to raise international alarm over Iran’s intentions or progress in developing nuclear weapons capacity.