Iran working on trigger for nukes, U.N. agency reports

Iran working on trigger for nukes, U.N. agency reports

JERUSALEM — Iran has conducted work on a trigger for a nuclear weapon and Syria “very likely” was building a nuclear reactor in 2007, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog formally concluded.

A report on the progress of Iran’s nuclear program issued Tuesday by the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran has conducted work on a sophisticated nuclear triggering device to be used to set off a nuclear weapon, The New York Times reported.

The information about the technology was part of a nine-page report on Iran’s nuclear progress. The report did not indicate where the information came from nor provide any details, according to the Times.

The report also indicated that Iran is recovering from the Stuxnet computer worm, said to have been designed and released by Israel and the United States, which stalled Iran’s production of nuclear fuel over the last two years.

An IAEA report, also issued Tuesday, said the Syrian project destroyed by an Israeli air raid in September 2007 was a nuclear reactor intended to make material for nuclear bombs, the Washington Post reported.

The findings open up the possibility that Syria will be sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council, since it did not declare the project to international nuclear inspectors as required.

The report cites physical and photographic evidence to back up its claim.

“It is very likely that the building destroyed at the Dair Alzour site was a nuclear reactor which should have been declared to the agency,” the report reads, according to the Post.

The report also criticizes Syria for blocking access to the site and giving false information about the site for much of the last three years.

The new allegations place even more pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been working to quell a nine-week uprising, in which a reported 1,000 protesters have been killed.